Alan Syliboy had a vision about what he wanted us to do at the Direct Perception workshop last week. It was an idea that grew arms and legs and became tangible. With the help of the participants. We found clay on the land, made it into a smooth surface in the center of a fire pit, then each drew personal images on it. Next we built a fire on top to bake the clay and send the images into the atmosphere.
My “image” was Kilroy. He was a familiar part of my childhood. I’m not sure the current younger generation knows much about him. Although no one seemed to mind his big nose poking over the fence, he was the graffiti of the day, associated with pride in the military in World War II.
My uncle Harold (my father’s brother) fought in the war. He returned seemingly physically intact, but only lived about eight years more. He became a mythical figure in my life, having been to the Great Wall in China in the war, coming back to tell of the horrors, yet always kind and generous towards me. I was jealous of any attention he gave my sister or my cousin. He would take me out for dinner, gave me a royal blue cashmere sweater for my sixteenth birthday and made me feel special, something every young girl needs to experience. Towards the end of his too short life, he lived with us. There was always an underlying sadness about him, yet a deep gentleness.
Kilroy was an important part of my childhood. He was there.