I wanted to share this video with you. It presses lots of buttons for me – all good ones.
It is a profile about a very special person – Tim Sharp, a young man with autism who comes from my hometown of Brisbane. He has a wonderful artistic talent and has created the character Laser Beak Man. The film was directed by a friend and produced by the government department I used to work for (yes, occasionally government departments do something valuable and special).
Most importantly though, it shows (and gives me hope for my little guy) that we can all have a meaningful place in the world.
By the way, don’t you think it’s interesting that autistic and artistic and separated by only one letter.
When a friend dies you know that no matter how keenly you feel their loss, that their partners and children are feeling that very particular pain more intensely.
I promised my friend to keep her in their lives in the years ahead. I don’t think that this will require any work whatsoever because my dear friend was such an amazing presence in their lives and will alway be. But keeping her in my life? I’m not quite sure what that will involve, though I am starting to get an idea.
I have her art in every room of my house, her photos in my collection, we shared a very individual taste in music and we also share some very precious people but I will miss our idle chit chat about every non-important thing and endless idea swapping along with so many other things.
I might take up the age old craft of letter writing, so that I can keep telling her what I think. I might increase my creative output and I might take an annual holiday in her honour. So many ways to acknowledge her and share with her. It’s a new phase in our friendship. I’m trying to look forward to it.
I’m off to Sydney to contemplate other people’s navels. Yes, I’m assessing music grants. I know what it is like to put your heart and soul into a grant application to wait with baited breath for several months to get a reply. So when I do this assessing business I am not a soul-less arts bureaucrat who has forgotten how important each and every effort and person and project is.
The life of an artist is a hard, lonely road. Keeping your eye on the joyful pleasure that took you to the start of the journey and meanwhile applying the craft and technique that you build over time is a tightrope act of the highest order.
This week I lost a dear friend who managed that balance beautifully. A wonderful human who made my life better for being in it. So here’s to you buddy, you’re efforts will be helping me through the next couple of days.