Say It Isn't So

Saturday, November 25, 2006


So many boxes. Every time that I open one of them and remove its' contents, I am unraveling history. Kind of like how digging down through a layer of earth will take us back in time, or peering through a telescope will show us the near and distant past, each box holds a multitude of memories. Some are recent and some are long ago.

When I was nearing time to graduate from high school, it was time to think about an even higher education, but I was only sixteen and did not have a clue about what I wanted to do. I liked to draw and could disappear for hours or even days perfecting a picture. I also liked the sciences, particularly any thing that had to do with geology or astronomy. My big little brother, big because he was eleven years my senior and little because he was shorter than I, recommended that I take Fine Arts because he had done the science thing after he had faced the same dilemma as I was facing then. So Fine Arts it was. To even be considered for this course, I had to take a volley of tests and deliver a portfolio of my artistic endeavors. There were 2,000 applicants and only 60 were going to be accepted. I was delighted to be one of the chosen few. As this was Fine Arts there were mandatory courses like English grammar and literature that had to be taken in league with Painting and Drawing. There was one elective allowed and I took natural science. My art teachers were like apples and oranges, worlds apart, and it would turn out that I could only get along with one of them. Mr. Gaugain did not like me, and I did not like him. It's amazing how that works out. Of course this was University and their goal was to turn me into someone who could earn a living after graduation in order to pay for this higher education. In the field of painting and drawing, this means crafting up a picture, or three, every night. I wanted to learn how to paint like Vincent Van Gogh and this was not what I was being prepped for. This was forcing me to churn out stuff that I was not happy with.

However, my other teacher did offer encouragement. He himself was a madman. He wanted his students to communicate with him about the works that they produced. He would give us a theme to work with and let us take it where we would. This was something that I could enjoy.
One day the theme was just to do something monochromatic. My colour of choice was purple. I created a picture of cubes showing only 3 sides to each cube with every side touching another side. To obtain the three dimensional effect that would actually make the objects look like boxes, each side was a different shade of purple. When you stared at these boxes you could envision that you were looking inside a box, or you could imagine that you were looking at the outside of the boxes. It was as if they were moving in and out.

I had always been fascinated by the depth of outer space. I was always fascinated by the depth of atomic structure. How all matter was composed of these atoms, and on the grand scale of things there were vast distances between the protons and those electrons that were orbiting around them. The universe is as vast within me as it is without me. Indeed it is everywhere. Moving in and out. Just like those boxes in my painting.

There were 2 little skunks that had to walk to school everyday. One was named 'In' and one was named 'Out'. They always went home for lunch. Going to school was different way back then. They were of different ages so they did not share the same classes and did not always walk home together. One day 'In' was very late getting home and Mom was worried. She told 'Out' to go find him because it was nearly time for dinner and she was concerned that he was not there yet. A short time later they both arrived back home. Mom said 'Out', how did you find him so quickly. It was easy said 'Out'. 'In' stinked!

I'll go back to the ins and outs of my unpacking now.


At 12:18 PM, November 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was stinking profound thoughts right up until the last words of your post.

I loved it.

At 10:45 PM, November 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, it sure sounds like a well rounded education to me! Love & hate ... institutionalized. :)

At 6:41 PM, November 26, 2006, Blogger mouse said...

Charles, you have a fine way with words yourself!

Sir Mdm., Isn't that the way it is in this world! Round has no beginning and no end!


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