I talk to my father on the phone, usually in the evening. He lost everything in material and social sense. When I came to visit him I caught myself pondering about taking photos of ‘his’ home (now owned by the bank) to document the horror he is living in. Yet he is alive and he doesn’t want to give up. He also has a daughter who is turning into graphene and has a good sense of humor.
His father was born and raised in 16th century fort Stari Grad. My grandfather’s family was the richest family in Sisak at that time. After ww2 the nationalization came in place; grandfather had to leave his home that then became the ownership of the state. In exchange the town offered him a beautiful big house in the center that he refused with simple words ‘How can you expect from me to live in someone’s family home?‘ The house belonged to Jewish family that left Sisak during the ww2.
He chose a tiny house, with no sewerage system in place, yet with a small piece of land. Grandma was furious.
Mirko Gulan planted apple and pear trees in his new land. Then he got apiary and turned into beekeeper. He would sometime take his bees to the island of Hvar so they could feast on lovely lavender. Not once in his life was he bitten by the bees. Heh, the Wachowskis might be right when they came up with the sentence ‘bees can sense royalty.‘ In 1964 he engaged himself into silk screen printing which my father later turned into offset printing.
My grandfather Mirko died of heart when I was 11. He passed on me something I cannot explain. Something zen like, something ‘royal’, even something Monty Python like.
Tonight I told my father he needs to buckle up. I had to remind him of his beloved dad and the way he handled worthless situations. Being ‘royal’ is being respectful towards oneself, others, to life itself. Person who commits suicide cause of loss of material wealth is a very sad and constrained person. For the lack of a better word, a useless person.
Each person carries responsibility to expand own potential and live life accordingly. This process is challenging, sometimes solitary, transforming, painful once in a while. It is so fantastically oddly rewarding that for me there is no other way nor time.
Keep moving forward. Painting too. North. Yes.