15 Years

02/22/2017 by rpatrick
Craig Kausen, grandson of Chuck Jones, at the Huntsville Museum of Art's Smithsonian exhibition,
Craig Kausen, grandson of Chuck Jones, at the Huntsville Museum of Art's Smithsonian exhibition, "What's Up, Doc? The Animated Art of Chuck Jones", 2016.
Chuck Jones working on drawings for his television animated special,
Chuck Jones working on drawings for his television animated special, "The White Seal", 1975.

It's hard to believe it has been 15 years and, at the same time, only 15 years since my Grandfather, Chuck Jones, passed away on February, 22, 2002.

On the one hand, I still have instantaneous thoughts of calling him to ask about this or that during my day to day activities. It feels like he is still actively involved in the world, at least in my world, because so many people continue to talk about him, continue to study his vast creations, and continue to use his guidance and principles to shape their creative careers.  And I personally continue to unearth answers from him to new questions that arise from his writings, scribbled notes, an obscure interview, or a story that someone relays to me about him in a happenstance conversation.

On the other hand, the world seems to have so dramatically changed since he died in 2002, certainly my world has, that it feels like an eternity since then.

I suppose that these instantaneously contradicting perspectives of time illustrate one of his most often quoted philosophies.  Although it is apparent that the mechanics of animation is an illusion created one moment at a time, he profoundly observed that "Animation isn't the illusion of Life; it is Life."  Perhaps this contradiction of illusion and not illusion points to a piece of why he and his films, philosophies, and teachings are so timeless.

I miss him but fortunately he is timelessly with me always.