This feels like starting in the middle of a book.
I’ve been dancing around this idea of roots (specifically mine) for years now, but like a super dormant plant, it would force it’s way up out of the soil from time to time – and when I didn’t feed and water it, would just go quietly back to sleep. It’s only now that I’ve invested the time to go at it full throttle. It began with an old photo that burrowed it’s way into my brain the summer before my senior year in college. I’d been to a family reunion in Indianola, Iowa, the hometown of my dad and his sibs and came home with a copy of this b&w photo of my great-grandfather, Patrick Farrelly.
I was an art major and decided I’d paint this guy. I was also seriously lost and drifting and disconnected from any real sense of who I was, where I came from or where I was going. Maybe that’s what attracted me – here was this old man whose DNA I shared. Who was he? Who was I?
So time passed, life happened, some very hard times and many good times. But I kept going back to those questions, and could never really let them rest. Now, as I get older I realize that those things: questions, ideas, longings – which take up permanent residence in our heads – need to be listened to and acted on. Call it a compulsion or call it a calling, they are there for a reason. Continue reading