My Friend the Adventurer

My friend is faraway… but no matter where he is in the world, he is on my mind.  In my mind so much, I had to get him out of my thoughts and onto paper. This is how I see him (inspired from a photograph by Beth Varro) I look into his eyes and see the man he is becoming, the man I hope he will become, and perhaps the man he already is. Across his neck and chest are the two continents he will be walking across during the next two years. He is going on a Great Adventure, and even though I will not travel with him, my hopes will be with him. He may be endeavoring to lead a more Heroic Life, but he’s never had to do anything grand for me to make him my hero.  Today, when he talks about heroism, he explains it as being emergent and that the goals and criteria for leading a more heroic life is to take risks to help others.  If you ask me, I believe that what makes a friendship heroic — where two people become each others’ hero — is when those people endeavor to take risks to help each other and encourage each other to take bold steps to improve each others’ lives.

Whether or not he feels he deserved it, asked for it, or ever wanted it, even after years of long distance, I’m his faithful friend no matter what. What did he do to get to be my hero-friend?  I can honestly say that, from the very beginning, the kind of friendship he and I have shared has been one where we both have taken unnecessary risks and gambles in our investments in each other’s lives. He may not have ever pulled me out of a burning building, but he got me out of dangerous and tricky situations. He also dared me to confront my fears and insecurities.  For example, I never learned how to ride a bike. I was 32 years old and he taught me how to ride!

It was an equal exchange of help and care. I reciprocated in any way I could, convinced him to try new things or see things in a different way, he did the same for me.  We didn’t have to agree on everything, in fact having two unique perspectives on life was a blessing.  Together we were a very creative and productive team.  I cannot speak for him, but nowadays my connection with him is all about inspiration, a key element to keep me going.

After reading about all the work he’s doing and the experiences he’s collected under his belt now, I wanted to pay him back for the inspiration and hope he has given me. With this painting, I hope to send him a vision to inspire him to be as great as he makes feel whenever he tells me I’m awesome.

Thank you for letting me share my vision of my friend with you. And thank you, Rogue Priest, for the memories and all the good times to come!

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6 comments on “My Friend the Adventurer

    • Thank you! This one turned out the best. As an artist, we all end up making portraits of our friends, but it is that rare every-once-in-awhile when we can really capture how they really look AND saturate the painting with a sense of what our subject feels like. I am happy I got in tune with my friend in this way. It makes it very special.

  1. This is a gorgeous representation of Drew. 🙂 I am happy he got you onto a bike and on to your own adventure!

    • Thank you! Drew has been one of my best friends for, let’s see (counts on hand) going on 12 years now. I can honestly say we’ve made big impacts on each others’ lives. In fact, I think my mind is severely dented, that’s how big of an impact he’s made on me! LOL Seriously, I’m very happy to share what he’s meant to me. The first time I painted his portrait was way back in 2001 and it’s fun to compare it with the portrait I just finished of him. He’s more experienced, but still the same guy I’ve always known.

      Learning how to ride a bike so late in life, now that was a harrowing adventure on its own! In the summer of 2002, he and I and another friend of ours took a seven week trip up north where we had to travel by bike or exclusively by foot. It was quite intense. We spent months training ourselves in preparation. He was my little coach (I only say little because he was 11 years younger, but really he’s much taller than me) and never gave up on me, even when I was irritated. I don’t ride bikes much anymore, but I prefer horseback! If I could, I would love to travel the old fashioned way by horseback like an adventurer of the old west.

      Like Drew, I love to walk. But unlike him, I keep my walks under 5 miles a day! 😉 Thank you once again for stopping by and telling me what you think of the painting. Please keep coming back. I have more art, ruminations, and Witchcraft stuff to share soon! Yay.

  2. Art Epicurean says:

    Everyone needs a friend like this. Great portrait, great story, great post. Thank you.

    • Thank you right back at ya! I could fill a book with stories about my friend, that is, if he’d let me. I also aspire to be just as much of a hero to him as he is to me. I am blessed. He’s not the only friend I have who is awesome and interesting, too. I could fill another book with more stories about my other friends! In fact, if you come back and check out a little project I’ve started called “postcards from home” you’ll discover I’ve been writing to them all, sharing with them my most intimate thoughts from my little humble home. I lead a simple, solitary life distant from many of my friends. Writing to them is my way to stay close while still keeping myself free to focus on my spiritual and artistic life. So happy to share it with a new audience as well! Welcome back anytime.

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