The Artist at Work

The Artist at Work
The Artist at Work

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yo!: How To Have a Cosmic Christmas

Several weeks before the Christmas of 1986, less than nine months after the accident, Anne and Marcus' sister Amanda presented Marcus with a set of Crayola watercolors and unknowingly awakened a talent in Marcus that would turn out to be a gift to so many others.

Marcus took up the paintbrush, in the spirit of fun, and his first work was a Christmas card (pictured). The message it carried was more than just a holiday wish. His triumphant “Yo!” signaled to everyone his definitive take on the situation.  Rather than gloom or depression, the drawing attests to Marcus’ simple joy in being alive and his pleasure in this new-found form of expression. Twenty-five years since the accident that paralyzed him, Marcus still paints in the spirit of love and fun, touching lives with tenderness and wonder.

There's an ancient Hindu story about a man who spent his lifetime begging by the city gates, always at the brink of starvation, clothed in rags. After awhile, he died, and after another several years the city decided to enlarge the gateway. During the excavation, the municipal workers turned up the earth on which the beggar had stood, sat and slept for those many years. Underneath the very spot, they discovered a priceless treasure, enough to feed and clothe any number of men for any number of lifetimes. All along, the story goes, within touching distance of the hapless beggar's feet great riches lay buried, worth many times more than what he needed to survive and live abundantly. What a cosmic event that might have been! If only the beggar had ever paused to consider what lay underneath the layers both of himself and the world.

We need more messages like the message of Marcus' first Christmas card: signs, poems,  paintings, gestures that point the way to the treasure hidden shallowly beneath the surface of our everyday struggle, hungers and chills. It is in the same spirit of love and wonder that we wish all our friends and family,
Merry Cosmic Christmas! 

PS: Happy solstice all! There's nothing like the shortest day and longest night to heighten your sense of time. ;')

1 comment:

  1. love it! thanks for sharing that first card, a treasure for sure. Glad it didn't stay buried.