Two weeks ago, a young man approached me in the Grade 6 class with a book to share. “Ned” held a volume of transcendent paintings called Imagine A Night. As I leafed through the pages with him, I was transported to another land, that of the imagination. Suitably equipped with my smartphone, I zoomed to Amazon and ordered. On Monday it arrived.
Today, as the kids were silent reading, I sat on a counter and came upon …
Imagine a night
When snow white sheets
Grow crisp and cold
And someone whispers
The painting showed bare winter trees, and a snowfield which blended into a room full of white beds. A young man walks through the night, holding a lantern. A girl rises from sleep and beholds the glow.
All was silent in the classroom. Eyes roamed over secret stories. I fell into the lantern, opening to the mystery.
Who do I follow?
Ego me pronounced that I follow no one. Broader me saw the silliness of such rigidity. I bring my own flavour to the world but I’ve also been taking notes on other lives for decades. I stand on their shoulders.
Here are my influences:
1. My dad (Archer Kerr) … a gentle man who loved making kids laugh
2. Arnold Palmer … a championship golfer who played the game with passion, and treated everyone like a king (or queen)
3. Yo Yo Ma … like me, a cellist – one who made my heart soar as he caressed The Swan
4. Cam Clark … my best friend since Grade 10, whom I can always laugh with
5. Jim Bailey … a social work instructor who showed me the oomph of living far more than he taught me counselling skills
6. Adele Zezza … she of the beaming love to her daughters, and out into the world
7. Johnny Haslam … my boss at the Prince of Wales Hotel. Always a smile, always a helping hand for this young man of 20
8. Sally Armstrong … a meditation teacher who looked way inside me and saw goodness
9. Jody Kerr … my dear wife, who glowed when she said “husband”, and loved me through my foibles (still does)
10. Patricia Albere … who sees me and shares her vision of a mutual world with all who have ears to hear
Quite a crew of inspiring folks