Updated: Jul 24, 2020
I've delayed in writing my 30th post because I really wanted it to be someone special. Unfortunately his body is gone, but my 30th Superhero is one whose spirit lingers daily in the air. John F. Kisaka. Whether its in the garden or in music or at the dinner table or just in the angles of my jaw line - Grand dad is alive and I want to remember him and honour him.
He used to sit me on his lap and sing, "My sweet heart come along, don't you hear the sweet song, the sweet note of the nightingales flow..." His heavy bass vibrating my entire frame. A maestro! A master of the arts. Grandpa could singlehandedly hold the bass line of 40 or more choir members. This is not a story I heard, I got to witness it to when he would quarrel with the alto's and tenors to maintain their tune and perfect harmony 20 minutes before morning mass. I remember walking around his garden where each leaf would shine. None had a hole. None had that cut that plants tend to get that looks like a burn. Rather each leaf was perfect. Perfectly shaped, perfectly shiny and glowing. No other garden was like Grand pa's garden. On a free afternoon, we would hop over to his plant shop in Mengo, just down the street from the hospital and find him with a little spray bottle and little cloth, cleaning each plant delicately. My dad would tell me that grand dad would wipe the leaves with milk to make them shine. But of course I never got the chance to ask because so quickly he would swoop me up into his arms and spin me while singing a tune.
Now that I am grown, I am often told that I do many things like him. Cooking, Singing, acting, Teaching, drawing...I often wonder what his reaction would be to where I am now. I'm sure he'd be proud. I mean, when I got a distinction in Grade 1 piano he couldn't stop talking about it for weeks yet that was only grade 1. Grandpa cared for excellence in art. There is a way to do art. There is an art to art. Don't just launch tepid nonsense onto a canvas and hope for the best. Imagine it, dream it, feel it. If it is music, let it heal souls. If it is art, let it tell you more about who you are, if it is a plant, care for it, if it's teaching, give your students everything! I miss grandpa but I know he lives through the art I make and whenever I want to quit on a project, i remember that my gifting is not my own. I'm carrying a legacy.