I flew in last night from my workshop in New York. I had some time last night with IB but mostly as a support for his very last minute packing. This morning we made pancakes, his favorite breakfast, and then off to the airport.
After breakfast, I gave IB a small heart stone, that I found on Howard Street Beach not far from our house, to support him on his journey. JB gave him a small stone that looks like a frog (reminiscent of Basho’s frog) that he has had on his studio table for many, many years. Then I brought out a jar from my collection in my studio. It was filled with stones that IB had collected on Oak Street Beach in 1991, when he was just 4 years old. I really don’t know why I saved this collection (perhaps it was because he was beginning to mimic the collecting he saw us do), but it seemed appropriate this morning that IB choose a stone to accompany him on this journey that reflected a piece of his pure and innocent self as well.
We were surprised at how small some of the stones in IB’s jar were. Perhaps when you are small, your fingers can lift and your eyes can observe the most minute objects, that most people might overlook. IB actually chose three very, very small pieces from his 4 year old self. We wrapped all the stones together in a small piece of old tablecloth and he put this precious package in his suitcase.
I wondered if, when I put the stones in the jar 22 years ago, I could have imagined that the next time the jar would be opened would be moments before IB’s adventure to Japan would begin.
Heart stone, frog stone, pure stone.
I miss him already.