By Jacob Hatcher
In A River Runs Through It, the narrator is watching his brother cast into a beautiful Montana stream and says “I realized that in the time that I was away, my brother had become an artist.”
I have watched that scene hundreds of times, and it’s always been a meaningful moment, but recently it hit me a little harder for some reason. Maybe it’s age; maybe it’s watching my own children grow into their unique personalities. Maybe it’s watching my father and his brothers as they grow older and yet still closer.
Being the youngest of three, it’s easy to forget that my brother and sister are something besides my siblings. That is how they have functioned in my life for close to forty years, and seeing them through a different lense doesn’t always come naturally.
But as Brad Pitt stood on the banks holding up his hard caught fish, I saw something different than I had before. I saw my brother standing in the community garden he tends for his church; I saw him sitting in a barracks somewhere in a far away land, fighting for his country and his principles.
I was watching actors playing their roles, but I saw my sister working a full time job and going to school, all the while taking care of her family. I saw her becoming exceptional at her job and being generous with her time, love, and support.
As we have grown older, my brother and sister have become artists. They are simultaneously the people I grew up with and people that have gone out into the world and made it a better, richer place. They are all at once my closest confidantes and the people that have a depth to them I have only recently begun to appreciate.
We’ve now lived apart longer than we lived together; maybe that’s what has opened my eyes. Maybe it’s that time and distance that has given me new eyes through which to see them. Whatever the reason one thing I know for sure is that while we’ve been away, my brother and sister have become artists.