Night Philosopher – 20 x 30
No single painting can tell the whole story.
Hell, even a story can’t tell the whole story.
Having Peter Follansbee for a best friend for over half my life has been pretty damn great.
A lot of people know him now,
he’s a famous woodworker, teacher, and …philosopher.
But what most of those people don’t know…
is that his mother Mary was a rock star.
I never knew anyone who didn’t think the world of Mary Follansbee, and I wouldn’t want to spend five seconds on a park bench with anyone who says otherwise.
She held a family of five kids together after her husband died way too early and ruled that roost with an iron skillet of a soul and a Boston Irish yell the memory of which can still make my spine snap right on up.
She challenged her righteous catholic faith openly, had little time for sarcasm but had all the time in the world to listen for the truth.
Her devotion to civil rights was on a cellular level and love was the solid core from which she moved through the world.
I miss her…her fierce abiding love…and her popovers…every day.
Those of you seeing this painting, or reading these notes, will know how important birds are in Peter’s life. He’s as fanatical about them now as he used to be about the Boston Celtics. No painting of Peter would even try to tell the whole story without an ornithological reference.
But what you may not know is that it was Mary who taught him to love those birds.
And the very first bird that she taught him to recognize was…the cedar waxwing.
So she’s there
just over his shoulder
his biggest champion
who would be mighty proud
to know that his children
can spot a cedar waxwing
from a country mile away.