A Wink and a Smile

Dear Dad,

It is April now, and you are still not here. It is apparently going to be this way forever, and while I must accept this fact, I will never get used to it. The world is just not the same without you in it.

A friend of yours sent me a text message from a hotel in Iowa. He included a photo taken in the hotel lobby. The photo showed an image of a feather hanging on the wall, illuminated by dramatic lighting. It did look a lot like something you might have done. This hotel is into feather pictures as a theme of the décor. (He suggested I contact them and show them your work. I will. I promise.)

He said you wink at him every few days—by showing him things like this—and he imagined that I must have the same experience. He is right. You do and I do. I would include the picture here, but I am new to my iPhone, and I don’t know how to transfer the picture from the phone to the computer. Maybe I will learn someday. Your grandson Owen knows everything. He will show me what to do.

Meanwhile, I don’t have to say this, because you will go ahead and do it whether I ask you to or not, but please keep winking at us. It hurts in some ways, but it also helps. It does make me smile. It is a smile that floats up on a sea of tears, which is perhaps the truest kind of smile there is. A smile that knows the entire story.

It is Monday, and I will be looking for your winks this week, Dad. I hope you have a great studio and lots of new friends to cook dinners for wherever you are. I miss you.


Georg Vihos, Luminous Feather, c. 2004, 12" x 12", oil on masonite
Georg Vihos, Luminous Feather, c. 2004, 12″ x 12″, oil on masonite


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