Dad’s Acorn

Dad’s Acorn, 2018; woodcut, 5″ X 7″

Dad’s Acorn is inspired by a cell phone photo my dad sent to me a few months before he died.

He was excited that he had just completed one of his first carved wood pieces- an acorn. Ever since I took wood carving in college he would talk about wanting to give it a try. And now, over 10 years later, he finally began to experiment. He completed two carvings, and had started a third, before his death.

Completed on residency at Aguafuerte Taller, Santiago, Chile, 2018

Both this print and the writing below, Vision of His New Home, were included in the Dead Dad’s Club Zine, Vol. 1

Vision of His New Home

The visions never come if I try. They happen to me. The first one came just a few weeks after he died, I found myself looking up into the sky and heard the question: “where are you, dad?” Then the vision of him behind some clear faraway barrier, like plexiglass, waving his arms and smiling and trying to get my attention. This was just another one of his jokes. He was right there on the other side.

Then there are the imaginations. I can imagine him walking out of the woods in the backyard with one hand in the front pocket of his jeans, eyes on the ground.

I can participate in the imaginations. I can’t participate in the visions.

A week ago, I had a vision. I closed my eyes and was right up against that clear barrier. Nose so close I could almost touch it. This time it wasn’t clear, but the dark purplish color behind my eyes. It was much thinner than before, and soft, like a curtain rather than plexi. I didn’t sense that he was anywhere near, but I kept my nose right where it was trying not to move forward or back. Every nerve in my body was alertly still, every cell waiting for the next moment. It seemed that it would have been very easy to reach out and push aside the curtain and walk on through.

It might have been the beginning of that thought, thinking I might be able to come find you, that made the vision suddenly disappear and the purplish color behind my eyes was just the purplish color behind my eyes.