i painted this plastic pig toy once before, ten years ago, in art school.  it resided on a three by four foot canvas, and it never really made the grade.  it was one of my very first oil paintings.  maybe my first.  it was painted over once and then given away, and painted over again by a friend.  nowadays, it lives under coats and coats, and the poor thing cannot see the light of day. so today i decided to unearth that smothered plastic creature from my past.  the toy...well, it came from my mom's collection of pigs.  when she died, naturally, it became my toy pig.  if you happen to tie a string to the loop on the front, and you also happen to pull it along with you for a ride, you will notice that the wheels are mounted in such a way that the hard shiny plastic pig wiggles to and fro.  actually, it's more like a giration.  i love this pig, this smiling pig, it makes me laugh: it was a fixture of my childhood.  so here it is again, reincarnated.

i know two guys who fell out of trees when they were young.  both of them broke vertebrae.  one was paralyzed in his legs,  the other has neurological damage in his hand and elsewhere.  both of them were changed, forever.  and both of them persevere, braving the day to day in the face of physical adversity.  these two guys, i love them.  they are my friends, and i can't imagine them as anyone other than who they are.  they are just about the most charming, sweetest guys i've ever met.  they both remember who they were before, and they know who they are now.  i only know them as who they are, to me: miracles of positivity.  they are themselves, just as we all are:  a product of the variables and differentials of our lives.

adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life's relationships, just as the cold of winter produces ice-flowers on the window-panes, which vanish with the warmth.
soren kierkegaard

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