Sometime ago I made my first ever attempt at painting a dog. I have made much better attempts since this one, but this one was of my own dog and running companion so he still holds a little special place for me. I can see how I would paint him different if doing it again, and I just might one day do that.
This dog, like all dogs loved by owners, bring something special into the lives of people. The other day there I saw a dog in training to become a guide dog for a blind person. I know how much those dogs bring to the lives of the owners.
It is this essence of a dog that make them difficult to get just right in a painting. To see the dog through the eyes of the owner. The more you know the owner the more you see the importance of the relationship between them and the dog.
To get back to my thought this morning. My dog became a very helping hand to me during my time of silence. Let me explain. For a number of months I was unable to speak. Any communication had to be done by writing on a notepad. it was a very difficult time, made worse by thinking it would never end.
My dog seemed to just know how I was feeling and my inability to talk to him, but he knew what I wanted him to do and when. he was always there during that time offering support and companionship.
Giving a little helping hand even though he had no hands. I am sure you know what I mean.
There is a very true tale of a true incident about helping hands.
A mother, wishing to encourage her son's progress at the piano, bought tickets to a performance by the great Polish pianist Ignace Paderewski.
When the evening arrived, they found their seats near the front of the concert hall and eyed the majestic Steinway waiting on the stage. Soon the mother found a friend to talk to, and the boy slipped away.
At eight o'clock, the lights in the auditorium began to dim, the spotlights came on, and only then did they notice the boy - up on the piano bench, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." His mother gasped in shock and embarassment but, before she could retrieve her son, the master himself appeared on the stage and quickly moved to the keyboard.
He whispered gently to the boy, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in the bass part. Soon his right arm reached around the other side and improvised a delightful obligato.
Together, the old master and the young novice held the crowd mesmerised with their blended and beautiful music.
In all our lives, we receive helping hands - some we notice, some we don't. Equally we ourselves have countless opportunities to provide helping hands - sometimes we would like our assistance to be noticed, sometimes we don't.
Little of what we all achieve is without learning from others and without support from others.
What we receive we should hand out.