Jud stays busy and involved, teaching English to Russian students, teaching watercolor, decorating his condo, tending his garden, engaged in all the activities DC offers, planning trips, like an upcoming sojourn with a UCC group to do a construction project on the Pine Ridge Resevation in SD. He's also a reader, and we share books.
Interestingly, Jud’s watercolor sunflower, above, captures this. It's a sunflower, bright and sassy, but with a bent, a tilt not upward toward the sun, but downward into a blue and hazy unknown. It doesn't stand tall and proud, but seems to be wilting, downcast, maybe in need of sustenance, maybe gathering strength. The dominant yellow and blue are the colors of the Ukrainian flag, but the touches of red add pathos.
A Ukrainian friend of Jud's must have seen something like this when she saw the painting and, with tears in her eyes, told Jud it captured “the bright hope and deep pathos of my country.”
I treasure this painting, and all the lovely watercolors Jud creates, all the flowers, winter scenes, and nature's gifts. It's why I love the original watercolor notecards he’d send me from time to time while serving in Ukraine: “hang in there” notes; after a friend from St. Pete died; when my brother died, and I was in Starobelsk, a devastating loss.