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Lantern in the dark for Daddy

Lantern

UniBall Signo white pen on 9×12″ top sheet from an Arches watercolor block
(To enlarge, click on image and select “All Sizes”)

On the fifth anniversary of my father’s death, I drew this candle lantern that was given to me by my son. I’m going to light the candle now and spend some time reflecting on my father’s life. Lighting a candle to mourn a loved one on the anniversary of their death is part of the Jewish tradition known as Yahrzeit and there are special candles that burn for 24 hours for that purpose. Since my father was both Jewish and an artist, I think it’s OK that I’m commemorating his passing with a drawing and a tea candle in a little lantern instead. I remember my grandmother lighting these little candles for her family members who had passed and thinking them full of mystery.

As part of Yahrzeit, the mourner is supposed to recite the Kaddish or “Mourner’s Prayer.” In reading about this (since I know so little of the Jewish religion) I found this excerpt from the last line of the prayer that I liked:

May He who makes peace in high places make peace for us  and for all…

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10 replies on “Lantern in the dark for Daddy”

Jana — I LOVE this tradition … and even though I’m Catholic, we, too, light candles for loved ones, for thanksgiving, for memory. May your memories be joy-filled on this day and rich with love …

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I too love the idea of remembering in this way. In second grade Ben had to make an ancestor paper doll. I ended up doing most of it because it was my father whom he never met. The face I painted quickly onto it was so startlingly like my father’s that I had the distinct feeling I’d called him to us through the art making.
I also really like this rendering of the lantern – very alive.

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Jana—The date of your dad’s death is the day of my dad’s birthday, and he’s been dead just a little longer than yours has. I like the idea of observing the anniversary this way—it’s making me think about ways to honor my dad.–Carol

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[…] Today I experimented with making monoprints, having been inspired by Belinda del Pesco’s amazing monoprints, and Kris Shank’s woodcuts. This is the same candle lantern I drew and posted a couple days ago. I’ve drawn it so many times now–for each monoprint you have to do the drawing again–it’s not like print making where you can make lots of one image. I think some of the others were better drawn but this one was dry so I could add color, so its the one that gets posted. […]

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What a lovely way to remember your father! He was lucky to have a daughter like you who honour and love him for what he is.

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