Friday, January 26, 2007

Reflection on a Painting

I wrote this about a month ago and though I'd share it.

In this picture you stand, quiet, unconcerned, in an empty street while across from you—on the other side of the picture—stands a man. You look towards him. He looks towards you. What are you to each other? Lovers, once lovers, siblings, friends, enemies? Will you run towards each other in joy or will you turn away, forever leaving this still portrait, this instant? Or perhaps none of this will happen. Perhaps he will cross the street to you and say “I did not expect to find you here.” And perhaps you will smile and say, “I came to meet you.” And then you will walk home together, stopping to buy the meat on the way. Or perhaps you will cross to him and he will look at you and tell you how you have not changed a bit and you will say that same to him as all the while you both think how few years have changed so much. Or is this an assignation and you have been waiting for an eternity, pacing back and forth back and forth while in the distance this man comes towards you eagerly? You are not in mourning for there is this coquettish pink flower in your hat. Perhaps you know that you look well in black or that black is mysterious and alluring. At any rate, there you stand in this quiet drab street, a spot of black, looking away. And we will never know yet we will weave our own story about you, each one choosing the one he likes best.

The painting is called "The Wait" and is by Jean Beraud. I have a copy of it in my room and was not sure what it was called until I saw another painting by the same artist on the back and noticed that he had signed it. I found the digital version here.

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