My friend Michael Clark is a lettering artist who wrote these beautiful words often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226). I asked Michael to write why these words are important to him so I could share both his artwork and his musings on the meaning.
Michael began writing about the making of the piece, remembering that he used a “no-nonsense” Parker fountain pen to create it – nothing fancy. Then something amazing happened. As Michael thought further, memories of his late father, Clarence, flooded into his mind. Then Michael realized that he loved the quote so much and had written it in a direct way because it described his father.
“He had a huge impact on me growing up, but the impact didn’t come from words, it came from example. Most of the time he did not have to say a thing. He was a tall, hulking man, whose silence spoke integrity and humility.
“I grew up in the 60s when Simon and Garfunkel sang about the sound of silence. I heard of monks taking a ‘vow of silence.’ The value of that was not lost on me because I lived with a man who could by virtue of his deeds speak volumes about kindness, caring, and love. Most people he helped never even knew he had ‘stopped by or stepped in.’ He just quietly went about doing what was right.”
Thanks for the reminder, Michael, that quiet virtue carries a powerful message of a father’s love that can last a lifetime.