During the 30-minute car ride from my father’s Janaza (funeral) prayer to the cemetery where he would be buried, Saanya was busy writing in her journal in the back seat of the car. At the cemetery, Saanya knelt by her Nunno one last time and read him what she had written for him:
“There is no one who saw more beauty or had more grace than my grandfather. There is no more kind nor more gentle human. Nunno saw art in everything, and all that I can hope is that in my 22 years spent with him is that I’ve acquired half of the unparalleled wonder he had with the world.
Nunno collected everything. Jam jars, coke bottles, restaurant coasters, yogurt containers, candy wrappers, magazine clippings. Everything. Everything that we’ve been taught to ignore. But he saw beauty in every forgettable thing. He saw shape and color and texture. He saw penmanship and craftsmanship. He gave value to every piece of everything and saw the world as art. He more than anyone has taught me how to appreciate. How to give credit to fingerprints and brushstrokes on paintings that look real the way his do. To pay attention to how they breathe, like his fruits and flowers and pots and vases. How they exhale the love and caring craftsmanship that was carefully pressed and painted into them….”
“Nunno is the reason why I’m an artist,” Saanya tells me. “He’s the one who taught me to see things in a different way, to appreciate and see beauty in everything; to find joy in the simplest of things. These are the things I hold closest to my heart, and I learned them from Nunno.”
Day 17 Wisdom 17: See beauty and find joy in everything.