Thursday, December 29, 2016


I'm always fascinated by stories involving the discovery of a vocation. I myself have no particular "aha moment" when I knew I'd be a writer, but I do know that I had my heart set on this at an early age because my mother often used to tell me so, when I was older. It was perhaps her reminder, in part, that drove the decision that I made, after twenty-five years in the academic world, to quit the profession cold turkey and become the writer I'd always known I should be. More power, I say, to those who had their vision early and had the courage to stick with it. I'm not sure whether this is the case with David Friedman, who tells today's story. David describes himself as a "visionary colorist." He lives and works in Hawaii--which is certainly a fine place for a visionary and a colorist to be! It also happens to be his birthday today, a nice coincidence. You'll find a couple of his images below the text. His memory is called...

by David Friedman
June 15, 2016
Honolulu, Hawaii 

Photo: courtesy David Friedman
I must have been 6 or 7 years old. Chicago. My home town.

My Dad asked me something, a question. I don’t remember what it was. It doesn’t matter. I know this story because my mother told me about it years later.

She told me that he had asked me a question. I was silent.
I didn’t know the answer. Well, maybe if I did, I just maybe couldn’t think of the words. He asked again.

I was flustered, frustrated. I was really trying to think of it … just couldn’t.
Mom saw that I was stuck, getting anxious. “He doesn’t know” she said. “Stop expecting him to answer.”

“No”, Dad replied. “He knows the answer. Wait… he’ll think of it”.
He persisted, believing, I suppose, that I really did know it, that I would think of it… eventually.

I picked up a stick. I scratched something in the dirt. I drew a picture 
of what I had wanted, tried to say, what I couldn’t say with words. I drew the answer. 

I made a picture, and he got it.

From early on and to today, I illustrate my world as an artist. I draw ideas, portray my feelings 
and picture my thoughts. I would grow up to document my life in a cavalcade of images, a visual parade full of color and light that would capture, in magic moments, the trail of my life.

David Friedman, Pathmaker: Walking the Talk, 2001,
       acrylic, 36” X 24”

David Friedman, New Path, 2016, acrylic, 40” X 30”

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