THE CARDINAL

My great grandfather was a carpenter, and a craftsman. Those days are very hazy and indistinct, being as young as I was, but I still remember the rocking horse he made, plus many other toys, furniture and decorations. My family still has some of them. The picture below is of me in his lap, and to the right is my great grandmother, and my mom on the far end.

I remember they had a few concrete bird baths in their backyard, and the cardinals that would stop by to use them. I also remember spending time alone with him, and the broad strokes of our conversations, but very little verbatim. I recall him drinking coffee occasionally, and showing me his computer… an old Apple, as well as the cards you could make with it in conjunction with a dot matrix printer that sounded, for all the world, like a wild animal squealing in it’s death throes. But, oh… the things it could do. The delights it could spin. Such colors, such wild magic.

But in retrospect, when I think back on it, I realize it was never the things he showed me that left the greatest impression.

It was him.

Before my eyes, he carved wonders from wood, painted them, and knew so much about the world, technology, and everything in between. Watching him was a treat. Another master at work.

Meanwhile, cardinals flitted around outside his workshop. From afar, they just looked like little red dots, sipping sparingly, and rarely resting.

Just like him.

I’m no carpenter, to be sure. I deal in polygons and pixels.

And stories.

I wish I could talk to him, know him, and get his impression on the world and modern technologies. Instead, I content myself with the belief that he’d be proud, and maybe… just maybe… a little intrigued.

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