by Peggy Spiess in Miscellaneous
thinking today about my father; how, being a scientist himself, he raised me to approach life with an analytical mind, for better or worse. when i called him from my college dorm room late one night to announce my switch from an animal science major to fine art, he spoke straight from his world: “yes, you could study scientific illustration!”
this makes me laugh now, with him 4 years dead and me missing his lovingly logical views; at the time i hadn’t strayed far from the family think tank and happily agreed. it was a step. and i tried to stick with it but once i began to allow myself to work, allowed the edges to drift away, it became clear that i wasn’t destined to swing from any branch of the family scientific tree.
he took it well, and remained supportive as ever, along with my mom–who, if she had her doubts, never expressed them out loud–and years later happily roamed the streets of my childhood in search of various plants to photograph for me, sending them along with “i didn’t realize that how a plant actually looked made much of a difference to you”; said with that affectionate laugh of his. so he got it, i’m not interested in how things actually look. i’m interested in how they feel and yes, how they feel. not very scientific. 

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