A younger brother who died at age 31 (on the left), Joe is seen toasting his nephew Flynn on his first birthday, named after the family matriarch, Mary Flynn (serenading the family on piano). Eternity flows through this healing piece from the cross we’ve hung on the back wall; from the Celtic frame holding the tango-ing paternal grandparents, and even, as Frank tells us, in the way the arms are bent forming a Celtic weave. Frank describes the feelings he has towards his Healing Dreamscape:
“Just the wallpaper alone – the layering of the eras in a manner of speaking – pulls the past to the future. The keyboard comes into the foreground; it passes by the rest of us. My elbow has a shadow on the keys.
When I lost my brother Joe that was what I call life’s cold slap in the face. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve always been fascinated with this thing as a species we do – act like time is not here. If we lived like there’s no tomorrow then we wouldn’t have such a hard time being more intimate with one another. If you’ve been square with people, a passing is an opportunity. While it’s a disappointment, a shock and you mourn, you don’t feel like you’re being robbed.
It looks very natural, it looks completely unnatural. If you take a gander around our arms and hands and shoulders – there it is. All that weaving is like a Celtic weave – like a half moon.
I see how everyone’s looking in the camera, but not Grandma Flynn; the only one I never met. In black and white, she’s not as real as everybody else in the picture but in a large way, she was. She ran a safe house for the IRA. My brother Joe is in the same plane as the rest of us. He has that same spark, same passion. A wild man: deep, spiritual. This is a party with drinking, piano playing – and it’s Irish. I can see that happening.
Today we’re preoccupied with online shopping and no fresh air. People in cars not talking to each other unless they’re on the phone. Looking at the photos I remember a simpler time, quality time, simplicity: when we were keeping it all in perspective.”
Frank notes wryly that the location of his brother’s right hand “is perfect” too, as his brother was a “scoundrel” – albeit in the good sense of the word. Is Frank’s wife glad she made this rememmbrance photo collage for her husband? Christine responds:
“It truly is The Picture That Could Never Be. Someday when Flynn is older he’ll appreciate the picture as well.”