the veil

rydberg ctc

As one who has experienced a great deal of loss in his life, Memorial Day has become a somber day for me.

As many of you know, it was my 65th birthday a few days ago. I was blessed by a great many greetings not only on this blog, but by phone, e-mail, and Facebook. I am thankful for all the birthday greetings, but one stands out: a message from my friend Michael, who recently died.

He had apparently scheduled this greeting from his Facebook page, but his account was not shut down when he ceased breathing. It was as if Michael was speaking to me from beyond the grave. This has happened to me only once before, when Holly had arranged for a delivery of Christmas tree decorations to me and our son after she died.

Most of the years that we were married, a poster of a vase of flowers from The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis (CTC) had hung by her desk. A couple of weeks before her death, I discovered the original painting for this poster at a gallery, and I bought if for Holly. It was my last gift to her.

A few months after Holly’s death, I finally had the pleasure of meeting Steven Rydberg, the artist who had been commissioned by the CTC to do the art for the poster. He had been told by the gallery owner about the unique role his painting had played in Holly’s last days. Steven was captivated, and he asked me if I had noticed a subtle image that he had included in the background.

I had not.

“It is a curtain which is blowing in the wind,” he said.

The next time I stood before Steven’s painting, I saw that gossamer veil, plain as day. How could I have not seen it before?

Since then I have kept Steven’s painting with me always. That blowing curtain has assumed a greater importance to me with time. It hangs above my living room sofa today. It serves as a constant reminder of the thin veil between life and death. A veil that is barely noticed, but always there. A veil that can be disturbed and crossed by the slightest breeze, the subtlest force.

That veil was disturbed the other day. Its mystery once again was rippled with Michael’s greeting.


Groove of the Day 

Listen to Haken Hakegard performing “O du mein holder Abendstern”


2 Responses to “the veil”

  1. 1 BobH
    May 27, 2013 at 12:26 am

    That’s a telling story, Dan. Best wishes to you this day and always.

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