My wife shared a great Picasso quote with me last night: “Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot; others transform a yellow spot into the sun.” He got it exactly right, of course. No artist, whether he paints with oils, words, or gestures, can create the sun. The artist’s sun is two-dimensional. The artist’s sun gives neither light nor heat. The yellow spot on the page is merely a symbol placed by the artist to represent the sun.
But if the artist allows himself to believe it is possible he can, as Picasso said, transform that yellow spot into something that feels like the sun. This is the power we do have. The world is too big for any artist. Love, the only true feeling, is too big for the mind to hold. But we can feel it, and that is enough. That is enough to create a fertile open space through which love naturally passes, both yours and your readers’.
It’s useful to remember. We can’t do it all. Our stories and poems and essays are fractions of reality. Love, which is all anyone has ever really wanted to write about, exists outside the thin reality of time and space, where we must muck about every day. Love has no form because it is every form, and love has no time because it is always. Reality may seem like a fixed thing, but if you burned it down to its ashes you would be left with nothing but love.
It’s too much, and so we seek the one gesture that suggests the entire dance, the streak of sunlight that suggests the entire day. It is a happy enough game when you accept the rules. Why, it’s almost cheating. How strange that in one sentence we can provide a crack through which all of life is visible.
If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual and group conferencing.
You can find Bill at: williamkenower.com