Motherhood and Fatherhood
Conchita has asked me to write about parenthood.
She doesn't realise this, but I'm half Spanish. My parents called me yesterday to wish me luck on this strange evening, almost fearing that I'd be unlucky, opening myself up to the unknown like this. But I was born lucky. My parents are responsible for that in some way - the lucky gene, half English, half Spanish, the best of both cultures, and I've led a blessed life, leading to here. Leading to Conchita. Leading to the chance to write about my parents on the wall of the National Portrait Gallery, making art from life as they made life from their love.
I'm lucky to have this chance.
The road that brought me to this point, from birth to here, is the way I was raised, the education they gave me. My father is from Santiago de Compostela an they know a thing or two about roads there. As I stand in the corner of this gallery at my raised desk, I feel like a preacher in a church, spreading my words to a captive audience. I was an altar boy, now I'm here. Another landmark on the road.
So I'm a preacher. Certainly not a holy man, and I don't know if anyone should listen to me. But these words are unspoken. They're projected in light on a wall that will bear no mark. A click of the mouse and they will be gone, so I feel the freedom to say what I want, even in this hallowed space. Here I can SHOUT and there is no echo.
Which leads me to my point.
I have no children, and I don't intend to be a father. My parents raised me well, but the only legacy I will leave behind are memories and words. Words projected on a wall in light and shadow. Words that can disappear in an instant.