Posted: January 22, 2012 in painting adventures
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“No, no!” said the Queen, “Sentence first – verdict afterwards.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in another life,  down a different rabbit hole, I knew a woman of great tolerance who had two very whiney children. They complained about everything and she would just go about her business as if they were not there, while making small noises of acknowledgement to their on going cacophony of complaints. She would allow them to go on and on until she reached a breaking point and then, in that “voice” that mothers have, she would say: ” Aye, me tienes cansasda! Basta! Sufre en silencio! “ Then, for a while there would be quiet

I never understood how she could tolerate this behavior in her children day after day. “Oh they will grow out of it” was her philosophy. But many years later I saw them as adults and not too much had changed.  What was different was that they had become the squeaky wheels of our world, the ones that always get grease.

Sufre en silencio”, suffer in silence. This, I think, is a learned art form, one I obviously never learned.   Tending to whip out my sword and let a few heads roll at the slightest injustice, whether direct at me or  another……. Made more enemies than friends with this need of mine to be the Don Quijote of real life. How I managed to survive much less succeed with this attitude is a mystery; but obviously if I had better social skills I would have gone much father!

It was not until many many years later that I was to meet the subject of my new painting “Secret Stems“. A quick, fast and enduring friendship emerged, each of us filling a void in the other. I was her balance, she in turn, taught me the art of being a duck; of letting things roll off your back. Not an easy task mind you.  Perhaps this ability was based on the dark secret she carried.  I never knew what it was, I never asked. Perhaps stirring the waters or raising an alarm might shine an unwanted revealing bright light upon her; therefore silence was more beneficial in the long run.

Whatever the reason or cause if she saw me today, she would be proud at how many times I have managed to keep my mouth shut, my sword sheathed and a smile upon my face.

I have by no means perfected this art form, but I am trying very hard and succeeding somewhat. Although there are times I must speak out; and when I do, I once again become the catalyst for change, adding another enemy to the list.

Perhaps finally, at this late stage in life, I begin to understand, or obtain a small glimpse at how the real world operates, shake my head and still ask my eternal  question: why can’t we all just play nice together?

Then I quack.



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