As I look through the sliding doors, I see the shadows and light in a different way. The failing fence and the shadows it casts amongst the fruit trees; the fading towel, long dry from the sun, now wind blown to the grass, meets the rejuvenated grass, as spring returns and shines her bright, strong sun upon the earth. I recognize the color of light, how it differs from corner to corner in the yard I have recently referred to as “junkyard.” Even there, where tussle meets my disdain, I see beauty, never hidden, but just now revealed to me as my understanding deepens.
I am moved by the story of I, Juan de Pareja, although much imagined by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino, I feel the depth of the artists, and how with such skill, with such beauty and remarkable accuracy, an artist, so humble, can paint truth, so deep, so real, so rich revealing the depths of the soul, my definitions of beauty are changed. How da Vinci, interpreted by E.L Konigsburg in The Second Mrs. Giaconda, contains the same gift, that of identifying truth, depth, no matter the beauty, and how each seems tortured to bring about their great work. How both da Vinci and Velazquez, perfectionists complete, struggle, yet patiently observe, so often in silence, then with the strokes of hand, and minds eye view, create that which is already in front of them, humbly, with no desire to over-beautify. How could they improve on the beauty of what was created by the Ultimate Artist – God Himself? They seemed to understand this.
I am in awe; reminded of my own shortcomings. How often I choose to improve. Then I am humbled that although fictionalized, both of these amazing, talented, off the chain men, served and loved those whom served and loved them and I am reminded of the obligation of Grace. I am moved. I am reminded. I am ashamed. Might I remember the quotes I so regard in their writings in such a way that I may portray the beauty in my own life, finding just the right light. I only hope that I may someday, someday soon, be received as a woman with layers.
“I would rather be first in painting something ugly than second in painting beauty.” Diego Rodriguez de Silva Y Velazquez
“Salai sat there on the couch on tip of the heap of jackets and listened to them. They were not worth Leonardo’s attention. But there he was, repeating the same answers to the same compliments. There he was accepting praise from this unrefined, uneducated bunch of men, no more grown up – except for height – than Salai himself. They were deaf men praising a concert. No. They were worse, for they could hear, but they would not. They were overgrown puppies standing between a saucer of meat and a mother’s teat: knowing that the saucer is full of nourishment but too lazy to chew, content to be told what is in the saucer as they continue suckling and telling each toehr how close they came to tasting solid food.” From The Second Mrs. Giaconda, by E.L. Konigsburg, pg. 34