This painting is from a children's story book, Home to Medicine Mountain by Chiori Santiago. I have the original painting used in the book. At first I wanted it because... well, just because liked the animal images in the smoke. But later I noticed it keeps reminding me of my father. I see Daddy as the older child on the left, facing his mother, Caroline. Caroline clutches the lost twin protectively at her side. This painting is my father, now reunited with his brother, and with his mother who is telling tales to her boys. I like to think some day I'll be there, no doubt poking a stick at the smoke animals.
I said my father's birthday would have been celebrated today, not because he is gone, but because he never knew his actual birth date. He was delivered by a midwife who only made the trip into town every few months to report the births she participated in. By the time the midwife made the trip to report my father's birth, she was no longer exactly sure of the date. The midwife put the birth down as having happened in April, but my father's mother - Caroline - thought he had been born in June. So you see, this celebration may just be two months premature. Anyway, Happy Birthday Daddy.