A Late Victorian

A reader writes:

My brother-in-law John was a Late Victorian, lost in the Castro on 7/25/90 at 34.

I have been wanting to write the perfect message since I listened to the great recording of Mark Adamo's work, featuring your work. But there is no such thing so I'll just do it.

I bought the CD as a gift for my son the musician who, sadly, has no actual memories of John. What he has is John's work as an artist. John was a prolific painter, sculptor,  lithographer and, in collaboration with my wife, a doll artist. He would sculpt in porcelain clay 
6a00d83451c45669e201287647fea9970c-500wi the heads, hands, and feet of the dolls while my wife would do the rest. After he died, his mother taught herself how to sculpt so as to keep the family business alive.

Twenty years later mother and daughter are still making dolls. In time she developed her own style. But in those early days she felt John's guidance in her hands as she worked in the wet clay.

Among some of my Facebook friends in the days leading up to Thanksgiving Day last year we tried to post each day something for which we were thankful. The task reminded me of what John had said in the months before he died. He spoke of how vivid the world had become. How he was continuously dazzled by the world's color. Simple things. The sky, leaves, the earth. You could just stand back whenever you wanted and let it all in. I remain very grateful that he told us that.
Anyway, the recording was very moving and I appreciate your effort and the efforts of your brilliant collaborators. My wife hasn't listened to the CD yet. I'm not pushing it. But I told his mother about it today and she looking forward to hearing it. She has shared excerpts from John's journals and I will close with an entry from age 15.

"Laughter is when the top of your head is gone and sunshine and happiness pour out because you understand yourself...

Crying is when the top of your head is gone and pain pours out because you are confused and alone...

Creating is when the top of your head is gone and ideas and love come out...

Work is when someone glues your head back on and you have to take out the trash."