Nathan's Great GiftMay 11, 2005
Every so often, my beloved cousin Nathan will come to our house for a visit. He only lives a half an hour away, but the city and our busy lives seem to make that distance somehow greater as time passes. Whenever he comes, the kids are beside themselves with excitement because in Nathan they recognize a kindrid spirit. He plays with them for hours, wrestling, talking, but mostly listening to all of their stories and pretend games. They don't see Nathan as an adult even though he just matched my 35 years last week.
Nathan and I were raised as brothers and have known each other since we were squirming around on baby blankets in the park. We have always had a kind of connection, much like twins. In a sense, I have always felt like Nathan was half of me. Our lives are very different now, me with a wife, two kids, a family and a "real" job -- him, living on a shoestring, with no family and a single-minded focus on his art. We both suffer in our own ways given the choices we've made, like most people, but Nathan has always managed to keep this purity and sense of wonder that is seldom seen among people our age.
Whenever he visits, he always brings a dusty satchel full of various art supplies and sketch pads. We all flip through his noodlings and meandering sketches of things that capture his eye. Always he is cooking something -- a painting or sculpture. Below is his latest work. When he showed it to us, we were both taken aback by the amazing quality of the light in the water --- even when the painting was only half finished. Visit his web site at www.nathanwakeman.com to see more of his work.