His companion hears the key scratch at the lock. Her body stiffens wondering about his mood. Often brooding, sullen and full of pique. No resemblance to his public face. He enters, slumping in his favourite chair.

On his way home he passed a building site. The vision stirred the anger in his veins, and filled him once again with fierce  regret. Oh how he wanted that throughout  his life. He begged his dad to teach him how to measure. balance resources, and work in town planning . Measuring became the feature of his teens. The new big thing, just when his soul awoke. He felt his ambitions shunted to the rear. ” Pablo, do your drawing. Its God’s gift. You know you must not neglect your talent”. The words still burnt a hole throughout each day. His moment passed: now all he has is this. He felt his anger grow within him. Surge unchecked through veins and onto brush.  His paintings lost all symmetry. Horror of horror they saw this as another sign of genius. The birth of a new movement. Something fresh. Trapped inside himself by their misguided praise. Growing wealthy as his chances faded. Life raced by, without him at the wheel.

“Simply wonderful” the critics said. Cursing him to a life misunderstood. The angrier he got the more they loved him. The worse he drew they more they praised his art.  They saw his fury as a gift, and marvelled at his new forms of expression, when all the time he was drowning in his rage. Walled  up by praise, they soothed his nerves with money, so  misbehaviour  was all that he had left. Looking at his trapped and tortured figure, the critics purred at his “free spirit”, and made exceptions for his social crimes. ” Not entirely faithful, must be said, but genius tends to tread unbeaten tracks”.

Sometimes when drunk he shared his dreams with others. “Oh how I wanted to be a building surveyor” he used to say. “The sound of trucks,  materials, the project growing right before your eyes; the moment understood”. How they laughed, his friends when he told them. A genius recognised from youth. Wanting to waste his life behind a desk, and pander to the whims of some town hall. “He never fails to astound” they told each other, dismissing as a whimsy  longings drunkenly expressed.

Not a true story, of course: a thought from my own musings, but also true if you follow me. Those who garner praise for some great function, can live in envy of another life, and wish to live their dream instead of feeding others. So we can live one life, and want another. Be praised for talents that burden us like duty. Kept apart from our own secret longings and envying those lives more understood.

Can we live one life, and dream of something else. Wanting a better or easier way than this.Walled up in riches and longing for our freedom. Drowning in praise for something we do well, and wish we didn’t. Living in an upholstered prison. A reluctant icon in another’s schemes.   Failing to see ourselves as others see us. Brilliant ,talented and singly blessed.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, Life, life2, skils, Talent and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Picasso

  1. I thought this is true. haha

    “Those who garner praise for some great function, can live in envy of another life, and wish to live their dream instead of feeding others. So we can live one life, and want another. ”
    I like this. sooo true!


  2. Dawne Webber says:

    Beautiful. Very thought provoking as usual.


  3. babs50nfab says:

    You do have a way Peter. Much truth here. I’ve often said we dismiss the things that come naturally to us because we feel it’s too easy. What is it about us humans that demands struggle?
    Thought provoking piece!


  4. Lafemmeroar says:

    We’re always dreaming that the another field of life is greener … it’s the fate of the human condition. Nicely done counting! 🙂 Tweeting this now 🙂


  5. mysending says:

    Living in an upholstered prison–this warrants much thought. Thank you!


  6. Ina says:

    🙂 I am not sure Picasso wanted to be a building surveyor, but I got the picture!


  7. nelle says:

    Yes. So astute of you. I’d add that sometimes we are split in two and yearn across time and space for reconstitution. That I’ve lived, and that I’d not recommend.

    PIcasso, I’ve a couple of his prints here, Guernica and Jacqueline With Crossed Hands. I do prefer Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe, but those two works always enraptured me.


  8. 1. Can we live one life, and dream of something else? YES. absolutely.
    2. I was excited reading this…because I thought: “YEeeeeS, this is the reason Picasso has a face here, breasts over there, a mouth hanging in air!” Like a disconnected life.
    3. I love love love your story telling, insight.
    4. Have a nice weekend, dear Ducky.
    5. xxx


  9. Spectacular musings, Peter. I’ve lived in that “upholstered prison” you reference. It’s cozy but not comforting.


  10. eof737 says:

    I get this one… and then some. However, I still don’t grasp people who hate the accolades showered on their heads… quite annoying if you ask me… 😦


  11. A wonderful switch – reflecting on how one is somehow pushed to be creative while longing to be ‘mundane’. I get it and especially like: ‘Be praised for talents that burden us like duty. Kept apart from our own secret longings and envying those lives more understood.’

    But in the end, I don’t think the creative ever really wish they weren’t … even when, sometimes, they self-destruct.


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