Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Seth

Today is Seth's birthday. He would be 37 today. In honor of his birthday I am posting a present, one that he gave me, rather than one someone gave him. He got so that he really didn't want people to give him presents anyway. He kept trying to get rid of everything in his life that was not strictly useful.

But this is a present he made for me, I would say around 1998. I don't usually ask for things for Christmas or birthdays. In general I believe that gifts should be from the heart of the giver, and not demands from the recipient. But nevertheless, that Christmas I told Seth that all I really wanted was a picture by him of Moses turning his rod into a snake in front of the pharaoh of Egypt and all his magicians. Pharoah's magicians then turn their rods into snakes too, but Moses' snake eats theirs. It's a great story, and part of what I teach every year to sixth graders in my Sunday School class. He was annoyed at my request because he thought I was underhandedly trying to make him read the Bible. I did want him to read the Bible, especially that part, but mostly because I wanted him to like it. I thought he would say, "Wow, this is great stuff!" which it is. On the other hand, that picture really was the present I desired most from him.

Loving son that he was, he drew the scene for me. Not in a perfunctory way, either. He put his usual whole imagination into it. It came out quite different from what I expected. I kind of pictured more of a long shot, with a bigger view of the room. This intimate scene is delicious, with the expressions of horror and surprise in both faces and body language, the patterns everywhere: in the cloth, pot, the palm leaf, the sandal crossstraps, turbans, even arm hair, and the lovely graphic design of the whole image. I love it.


j_ay said...

What a treat to see that, it's beautiful!
And thanks for the cute story behind it.

How was your (collectively "your") vacation???

Vicki said...

Our vacation was lovely, Jay, thanks. Kauai is so lush and green, and kind of unsophisticated. When we were away from the resorts, it seemed to me like the US of my youth: the interior land is not manicured and organized; things run down and sit there. Then the grasses and vines grow over them. But the resort was lovely too. It had ponds with fish, and kids could go fishing in them (catch and release), NO signs that say "DO NOT....", chickens running around loose all over the place. Hula lessons. Snorkeling with the fishes. Tofu had a great time. So did his mama and grandma.

j_ay said...

excellent to hear you all had a great, relaxing time.