All the time, friends and even complete strangers come up to me and tell me what an amazing singer my son is. It’s ironic to me that I cannot access this part of him at all. I couldn’t tell you if he’s a good singer or not. Apparently he has a real gift. I don’t know how he came to be born from me. I love singing, but when I was a teenager, my dad took me aside and solemnly recommended that I never, EVER sing in public. It’s a recommendation that both Paula and Jesse fiercely uphold, sadly. Instead, I release my singing needs while I wash the dishes, a time when Jesse keeps his fingers in his ears and Paula promptly heads outside.
I can’t hear the birds sing either. Apparently the magpie is both Paula’s and Jesse’s favourite songbird. Jesse gave me a demonstration of the magpie’s song, which Paula told me was both melodious and accurate. But I failed to appreciate that too. Even with my hearing aids on, it just sounded like irritating white noise. Actually, come to think of it, it’s the kind of irritating white noise I sometimes hear in nature. Maybe I HAVE heard magpies sing afterall!
This painting of a white-throated magpie is in honour of my son Jesse, who sings like a bird. It’s to celebrate all those things I can’t hear or access or understand, but are known to be beautiful anyway. I think we all need to appreciate that there are marvellous things and experiences here on this earth with resonate with others, even if not with ourselves. It’s so easy for us to be dismissive of that which we cannot love, and this is my attempt to love something I cannot see (well.. hear).
Like my son Jesse, this magpie is poised to fly. And to sing. If you’d like him, he’s in my shop, singing his heart out.