Lawrence Ypil

My Father's Garden

Surreal painting. A green leafy forest in the background. The roots of the trees surround a river that rises up to become an ink pen.

While there are things that we spend most of our lives trying to avoid inheriting from our fathers—a bad temper, an insistent and unrelenting desire for order, an impatience for mediocrity, even a growing and unavoidable bald spot—there are also those things that we see in our fathers, which, no matter how hard we pray that genetics will finally grant us its rare favor, we know, we just know we will never ever get.

Drain of Thought

Abstract multicolor painting. A distorted human face and a hand being pulled into a flushing toilet.

And because our toilet in the house has conked out, given up, has insisted that “flushing” isn’t about the water going down the drain but going up to meet you with your quickly growing, yellow reflection, I’m tempted to think this is some sign or symbol or foreboding omen of things to come.

Whatever It Is You Want

Abstract multicolor painting. A blue, distorted human body, a pen coming out of its heart, cutting the body in two and leaving an ink trail behind it.

If there’s anything at all that can keep me on hold, in thrall, still and breathless, willing to hold off the call of the world of work, even for a day, then it would have to be a good book.

Daily Rituals

Sketch. Close up of a man's face in the foreground. A church with bells and a cross in the background. There is a moon in the sky.

In the past few weeks, I have found myself going to mass everyday, 6:30 in the morning when I’m lucky enough to find myself back home early the night before and therefore ready and fit enough to have a full night’s sleep and face the unnerving silence of the dawn.

Claire de Lune at Dusk

A watercolor painting. At the bottom, a piano with sheet music open. Behind it, a forest with large trees, birds flying, and blue sky.

Some afternoons here seem like a dream. Just yesterday, straight from a three-hour poetry class, I step out into a glowing field of music. The Christmas lights of the field have been turned on: long streams of bulbs hanging like hair on the dark heads of trees. Piano notes stretch their long and invisible arms into the darkening field. Claire de Lune was playing, or was it Chopin? Like the background music to a play or a show. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought I was in a movie.