midsommervise for min far

by angeliska on June 21, 2009

Happy Midsummer’s Eve, Summer Solstice,
and Father’s Day my dearies- I hope this weekend
has found you blissfully enjoying the land and the water,
and hopefully a big bonfire to jump over!
I know that I am very blessed to have such an amazing
father and grandfather. We have such a strong bond,
built on mutual respect and love, and are interested
in so many of the same things- as far as art, music
and spirituality goes. I know that’s a damn rare
and immeasurably precious thing, and I try to
never take it for granted. I’ve learned so much
from these guys, and feel so lucky to have
their friendship as well. Fine fellows!

Isn’t my dad dashing? This is from his days of studying zen and fencing
at UCLA. Very Errol Flynn! Happy 100th birthday, also to the King of Swashbucklers!

My dad raised me for many years after my mom died, all by himself.
I can’t even imagine how hard that must have been for him.
He did a great job, and continues to astound me with his patience,
generosity and unconditional love. He read me stories every night,
and taught me how to read by the time I was around 3 or 4.
Hop On Pop! The Color Kittens! The Thirteen Clocks!
He spawned a voracious reader, who is still excited by his book recommendations.
Oh yes, and incidentally- he has totally revolutionized the method by which
reading is taught! He teaches adult literacy in prisons and has a truly
remarkable success rate. I could go on and on, seriously- but for now,
let me just say that he is also an incredible musician
(banjo, uilleann pipes, accordion, concertina, various whistles + recorders, etc.)
and that he is a spiritual seeker who taught me to revel in the great mystery.
Also, I used to hate a lot of things my Dad was into:
Sacred Harp (or Shape Note) singing, polenta,
quinoa, NPR, t’ai chi- now of course, I love all those things!
Go figure. I am the apple- he is the tree.

This is my beloved Grampa Charlie, holding my pop when he was a bairn.
I wonder what that enormous book they’re reading is? It must be something
pretty fantastic, because that baby is captivated!
Obviously, the book thing runs in the family.

Where to even begin to explain the wonderfulness that is my Grampa?
I cannot do him justice in little snippets, but hopefully I will be able to
embark of a project that will allow him to speak for himself, and share
his marvelous stories- of which there are many. He is 95 years old,
and he still beats me at gin rummy regularly. Sometimes I think he
gets out more than I do! We’ve traveled all over the world together:
if you feel like scrolling back through the archives, you can read
tales of our adventures through most of Europe, Scandinavia and the Balkans!

Contradiction: Oberon and Titania
In honor of Midsummer’s Eve, and the solstice,
and for my dad, who introduced me to the work
of Richard Dadd (who incidentally, killed his
own father- eek!)
namely, The Fairy Feller’s
Master Stroke
, (which is possibly my favorite painting)
I will share with you the treasures I have found floating through
John Coulthart’s Feuilleton, a veritable trove of wonder
which entertains and enlightens me almost daily.
Here are some succulent midsummer tidbits from his archives:
A Midsummer Night’s Dadd
Arthur Rackham’s Midsummer Night’s Dream
William Heath Robinson’s Midsummer Night’s Dream
Another Midsummer Night


that was very touching. have a pleasant and wonderful summer!

by katja on June 21, 2009 at 3:54 am. Reply #

Oh, I lost my dad when I was 9. My mum is as amazing as your dad sounds !
On a lighter note, I loved the “Color Kittens” !!! I was crazy about the way colours melted out of their cans !!! And I recently purchased the book (I lost it, or someone stole it). It’s still as exciting as in my memories.
x x x

by Mathyld / encore petite on June 21, 2009 at 9:43 am. Reply #

Dear Mathyld,
I know today must be hard for you. Mother’s Day is always really sad for me.
So many of my friends have lost one, or both parents at a young age- it’s hard to think of anything more painful. Maybe at least we were lucky to be raised by single parents who loved us so much, and worked so hard to do the work of two. Cheers to your maman today, for being both mother + father!
The illustrations in the Color Kittens still enrapture me! I was definitely shaped by that one- it was my favorite little golden book!

by Angeliska on June 21, 2009 at 10:04 am. Reply #

You are a doll, Angeliska.
x x x
And PS : These are gorgeous photographs, precious, really. Thank you for sharng !

by Mathyld / encore petite on June 21, 2009 at 11:51 am. Reply #

this is such a sweet post. lovely. father’s day is so bittersweet for me, but its so nice to think of the wonderful things, which this post does for me.

by lau on June 21, 2009 at 3:40 pm. Reply #

My dear Miss Angel, this post is wonderful! I love love LOVE the photos of your papa and grandfather – they are amazing. And the Dadd artwork is wonderful! Your link to Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream reminded me of the little owl tattoo on my left arm that comes from the cover of Arthur Rackham’s edition. I have two Rackham tattoos!!! Will I see you this week? I hope so as I miss you…if not at class, let’s go to the Good Night! Love, p

by Patience Meliora on June 21, 2009 at 6:49 pm. Reply #

your dad in the top one is basically my ideal boy. is that creepy to say? oh well!
& look at young grandpa charlie!!!! so cute. i wheeled by grandma around all day to museums as yesterday was her 92nd birthday (with my papa too!) & told her about him and your trips to europe. she wants to take a train across canada but probably it is too much for her.
i love your family love posts so much. and you! love love love!

by verhext on June 21, 2009 at 8:58 pm. Reply #

Oh my … so many of the things you touched on in this entry were absolutely WONDERFUL! First and foremost, your Father and Grandfather sound like incredible people, and I loved seeing the pictures of them! I really love the shot of your fencing father … it is indeed a great Errol Flynn moment!! 🙂
The other things I loved about this wonderful post … well first off, my dear, we share a first book … good old “Hop on Pop!” … my poor dear old Dad had to put up with me testing out the theme of the book on him, as I recited the story out loud to the rest of the family! 🙂 Secondly, RICHARD DADD! … need I say more?! A truly amazing artist who my dearest and I have long admired!! And finally, I hope you can see these images, because a) I caught a certain little fairy on my arm …
… and b) little Sebastian Aloysius Puddles, Esq., the dandy of the betta world, happens to have his own W. Heath Robinson “Midsummer” mural as a background to his little aquatic world …
… too funny!
Hugs to you, my dear Angeliska, for such a wonderful entry!!

by Susanne Lynette on June 21, 2009 at 9:18 pm. Reply #

looks like your family is quite amazing!

by jenene on June 26, 2009 at 6:26 am. Reply #

I love your blog, it is so inspiring! You make me want to be you and have your friends and family 😉
And then i stumpled on this headline, and I was delighted to see tht you have written in danish 🙂 I’m from Denmark and now you made me feel a little special 😉

by Martine on October 2, 2011 at 8:25 am. Reply #


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