You waited years to paint this, to show that black contains many tones, can hold rather than cancel, hold the tender leaves of the aspen like an orchestra framing the piccolos. The sky blooms above the branches, its gray lights streaked with black, like the night I lay awake in my cabin, staring into the darkness. The velvet folds rearranged themselves until my thoughts assumed their own directions, and the grays, still rimmed with dark, paled. You gaze straight ahead in your studio, your chin thrust forward, your eyes blazing as light and shadow mazurka around you. From your father you learned what matters; how one tone moves with another. Now you take the colors from our lives, lift them from the tangle of event so we can see their sweep; the orange strokes flickering above the somber wash, the overlay of years where we rewrite ourselves, moving in all directions or spiraling, wherever anguish leads us, or wonder, or love.