“The Omi Angel”
At this time of year, I always like to reflect on my grandmother (we called her Omi) and how Dan began the journey of his art career. I should say how it began in earnest–he was always doing something artsy and creative. The photo of the Angel looks very much like my grandmother, we call the angel, The Omi Angel.
It was close to Christmas, many years or many moons ago, and I had a dream about my grandmother. Borderline disturbing and very Steven King. Omi was standing on a local bridge (a bridge that people have committed or attempted to commit suicide), and she was completely enveloped in white, gray, misty fog at night. Hazy lights were shining in the background, and the fog was swirling around her. She stretched out her hand to me and beckoned me toward her. As I watched her, I didn’t think that it was a hot idea. Actually, I was thinking how about I wake up now. But she smiled and I figured what the heck, it is only a dream. And all she said to me was “Buy a camera”, and then poof she was gone. No chance to debate this order, and an order it was –very authoritative.
By now it was the middle of the night, when I woke up and I was very eager to share my experience with Dan. Since it was so late, not a good idea, and anyways I was afraid that he would be very cranky getting a 3:30 am wake-up call. When he is sleep deprived, he has no sense of humor.
Of course, first thing in the morning I told him, and we pondered the meaning of this dream. It made no sense; I was not the least bit interested in a camera for myself. A watch was on my wish list, and I was looking forward to one.
We had the family over for Christmas Eve, our tradition at that time, and we always opened up the presents then. I could hardly wait to see my watch. To make sure it was the correct one, I had given the store instructions (called the store myself to make sure they still had it), regarding the exact watch that I wanted. That watch was definitely under the tree.
Dan said to our daughter, “Watch your mother’s face”, as he hands me the package. It was the very last present of the night. It was still in the air, as I ripped the wrapping paper off of it. Excitement plus! The paper fell away, and the camera greeted me. Oh (naughty word) no watch, and my daughter is laughing. “Did Dan forget your injury?” In an accident, I had lost partial usage of my right hand, and a camera could not be manipulated by me. I explained my dream and the order from Omi–“Well, if Omi told you to buy a camera, then I guess you get a camera.”
That camera was constantly used by Dan to shoot landscapes, and catch that wonderful artistic light. He always asked my permission to use my camera. We loved what he was composing and documenting. He enjoyed the photography, but painters had always been around him in some way,and it was a natural progression to think about painting. Slowly the artist of oil paintings emerged, and his love of nature and the water is very evident in his compositions. This artist is constantly evolving, growing and learning about his craft.
Dan still has the Omi camera, but we have progressed to better cameras and lenses for his needs. The camera has become an extension of him, and a tool for his art. This all began because of my dream, and many times when we are making decisions, Dan will ask “See Omi in your dreams lately?”
You never know where a path will lead you–you just take the journey. The journey is the excitement of the trip, and we are enjoying Dan’s artistic journey.
Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful Holiday Season and New Year! Merry Christmas!
Nancy (the blogger) and Dan (the artist)
Photograph of Omi Statue was taken by our son, Daniel C. Dahlstrom, who also is an artist.