STANDING WHERE PICASSO STOOD
I stood where the great artist once stood, in front of his
lithe but poignant fin de siècle oil painting, Courtesan with Hat
I tried to imagine myself in his demiurgic footfalls as he once sketched
the outline of a French lady and filled in the colors in his indomitable,
unconventional way as only he could do it.
I pretended I was he, meticulously cobbling together dots and strokes
of tint, tone, and pigment to give birth to a whole yet nebulous figure
of a nameless woman seamlessly blended in with the flora in the canvas.
My usurping of his lofty role as master artist was like a blast of fresh air;
it freed the blocked waters of my creativity and propelled me towards my
fate as an aspiring artiste
But then, out of nowhere, came the misshapen image of Guernica
. It smashed
my aesthetic wistfulness, striking me down with the horrors and distortions
The Spanish Civil War, Iraq, Kosovo, Rwanda, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Mindanao,
Basilan, all came to mind, tragedies of immense proportions. Guernica
us that each bullet, each shell, each landmine, each massacre induced
by those conflicts have destroyed our humanity piecemeal.
Mournfully, I turned away from Picassos courtesan, and thought of nothing
else but the tortured memory of the orphaned, widowed, and broken-hearted
skeletons spawned by those terrible struggles.
I indeed stood where the great artist once stood, with creative admiration in my heart
but with tears of blood
in my soul.