On a very early Wednesday morning during a period of "artistic wakefulness", as I now call it instead of old-age sleeplessness, I found myself pulling a worn green metal box from the closet shelf to lay its' contents out on the table .
It was probably eight years since I had done that. Only then because someone had passed away, or when there were papers that were needed. In the past I had many times shuffled through them in some kind of temporary reflective mood. In this bundle were papers that my mother had kept. Among the collection were my report cards from day one - many of them spoke to my early struggles with math and some proficiency in the arts. Perhaps this was an early revelation of my right brain/left brain dichotomy resolved only when I was saved by entering law school, finally, where you did not need to add and subtract - just read and argue meanings.
On that morning when I awoke, I set upon a strangely uncommon mission - to find an early tiger drawing of mine drawn in second grade and barely remembered. After sifting through all of this stuff, taking detours recognizing long-forgotten achievements; I recall a supportive letter from my dad that he wrote directed "to whom it may concern" about my mothers' history of working hard together with him in real estate. The letter touched me because it was dated just before his surrender to cancer. He knew she would find it. Why didn't he just tell her? Who else would see it except me? Maybe that's the point. Anyway, there was no tiger to be found.
I would not be disturbed except it was, in a profound way, a retrospective landmark - perhaps even prophetic. It was a simple crayon drawing of an eight year old. which may have lived on the refrigerator for a time before it was not to carefully folded and stuck into the box. As far as I know, I had no particular fixation on wild animals except maybe a scary dream or two, The strange thing, however, was that it was the only drawing of mine that my mother ever kept in the box, and I had done a great many over the years as art was taught in all of the grades.