Sistine Chapel

The room echoes strangely with all the furniture clustered together, pulled away from the walls and covered with old sheets. Unhindered by any blinds, the sunlight pours through the naked windows, illuminating the firefly dust motes as they spin, filling the air with blissful apathy.

The floorboards beneath my bare feet seem to creak more loudly than is normal as I walk around the lump sum of my belongings. Tiny me, surveying your careful handiwork, breathing in that metallic smell of the paint, which lingers on our clothes and coats the backs of our throats with oily sweetness.

You are wearing your old hat, the one with the orange brim and webbing in the back, and the white letter "B" on the front. "B for Ben," mom and I say, but have no clue what it actually stands for. Your plaid painting shirt, too big even for you and ripped at the elbows, is splattered with white constellations.

Sunny days are the best for reparations. Even I know this. It's like God has stepped in and decreed, again, "Let there be light. Let there be imagination." He wants us to capitalize on this overflow of His creativity. He intends for us to seize a little bit of that lightning and harness it. We're made in His image, after all. Creating can only be an act of mirroring the Creator.

The simple patter of my bare feet on the spotted, hardwood floor is the only music you need to keep you inspired while you work. It is the only tempo you need to keep you in time. I am the click track to the rhythm of your brush. Together, we record albums in color.

Stroke. Stroke.

Stroke. Fermata.

The hours strain and run together, like watercolor artwork. You tell stories of your life, the long–winded kind with half–developed morals, the details of which I will remember forever, but not truly understand until they have been reinforced by personal experience. The timbre of your voice is the sincere consistency of sandpaper. The words run from your mouth – lips which typically smile more often than part. And though you may not think I am listening, I absorb every word.

As the sunlight deepens with evening, coating the room with a fresh glaze of honey, we stand back to survey the work of our hands. Of course, you have done everything yourself. I have merely offered comradely support in smiles and inquisitive words. Yet, I feel accomplished, helpful, special. Not every boy gets to help his father paint his bedroom.

I take your hand, smiling up at you because I can. Two tasks were accomplished today, though perhaps the one is not so easily recognized. You see, you are so much more than simply a man with a paint brush and an eye for colors. You are a father, my father. You are Michelangelo, and the canvas upon which you work is not the bedroom wall.

It is my soul.