Posted by: zhak39 | July 9, 2010

Where did I come from?

In so many ways in our culture we live through our children.  We discuss our kids accomplishments through potty training to university offers.  We brag about their career choices and promotions.  This is neat, this can be neat conversation.  But from a darker perspective, it’s a dodge.  It’s ‘look what I have made.’

At this moment I am sitting in a modest room at a modest table.  Just beyond the light of this computer is a painting.  The most unlikely subject matter is, well, me.  I don’t often look at me.  Yes, maybe, in the morning when I open my armoire I see me grabbing a skirt, a blouse.  But I don’t often look at me.  In fact, I convinced myself a long time ago that I appeared better in motion and have done my best to be constantly on the move.

But someone, some two people decided that it was time to pin down an image, an impossibly still image of, of, me.

Last Thanksgiving my father actually caught me still, by candlelight at a dinner graciously and beautifully orchestrated by my brother and sister(in-law).  I was listening to my sweet cousin who had shown up just in time for the homesteader food extravaganza to begin.  We had eaten well.  We were thoughtfully seated.  I was wearing red.  And my mother used this shot to paint a portrait of me.  Still.  Smiling.  Involved in listening.

Mom used the word ‘luminous’ when she talked about her ardent attempts at mixing colors for eyes and skin.

Where did I come from?

My parents are two incredible people that view the world literally and what they portray is achingly beautiful.  There is no denying the literalness of their work.  I have no explanation for the flat out beauty of their outcome.  Where does this come from?

This week my parents, my non-Ph.D., non-academic, non-snot raised intellectualizationalized (boy that was a fun word to make up) parents travelled by invitation to the Catherine Lorrillard Wolfe Art Club to jury their annual art show.  They are not hopeful candidates.  They are recognized as accomplished artists who can evaluate others and hopefully guide the direction of visual art in this  context and time when the ideas of literal and beauty have become unmoored.

There is hope for us, people.


  1. Zhak, why not just describe the most delicious meal ever created, and the perfect table settings, and the specifics of the dining room, and just get my mouth watering for this meal. . . . .

    Only to leave the meal to my imagination.

    Let me put it another way: Stop teasing — Take a picture of the damned painting and post it!

  2. Fewer calories that way.

    (All right. Next time I have some time I will post a picture.)

  3. Thank you, Zhak.

    You know I can’t resist a “luminous” woman. Well, given Monica Lewinski why, you know I can’t resist ANY woman but . . . . certainly a “luminous” woman piques my interest.

    Shhhhh! I think I hear Hillary!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: