Posted by: burusi | 08/06/2009

Tengiz Verulava – “Picasso”

1902-03

Tengiz Verulava – “Picasso”

Forward

The issue of interrelation between the generations, the interaction of the old to the new, i.e. the essential contradiction of the progress vertical is what makes the perpetual problem of the world. The mankind courses this path freighted with overwhelming pain, the acceptance and overcoming of which, however, opens up a huge vista for love. The axle arousing therefrom is where the spiritual and physical notions of the world meet, where the center of gravity and the synthesis of the old-traditional and the new-innovatory lies. And I am adamant in thinking that this co-existence reflects paternal feelings, in this case, contradiction and affection, to the alacrity and the ability of reproduction of which we owe what is often referred to in art as gift. This gift makes you wander in your own irrational world, without transcending to the rationality, without even allowing you to wonder. You just have to wander through this in-depth “Hades and see that pomegranates are in bloom there, you may feast your ear on the tunes of Orpheus and find love even in the hell itself, declaring your consent to the whole world.”
Yes, the vector of the leading path is targeted forward…

Picasso!
Come and see him. He is within you. He is within everyone and everything. He is visible, but he is beyond the conscious world and exists beyond the perceived existence.

Picasso

Vespers

The subjects of the kingdom had gathered in the chapel of the heathens. The Monarch had convened the vespers.
The chapel seemed gloomy. A strange silence had brooded over the place. The Monarch was sitting on the gold-glazed coach watching silently over the expectant subjects.
The worry was felt for the old age of the king: the wheel of time had become worn. Nothing could stop this irreversible flow of time.
The king could no more persist the stubborn stare of his subjects. The long-winded silence seemed like an evil omen.
“It’s time already”- he said and glanced over the attendant for the last time, then unsheathed the time-worn dagger, stroked with his middle finger over its strong part, marked the swollen vein on his neck with a trembling hand and cut it.
The steady flow of the timeworn blood ceased. With blearing eyes he stared at his subjects and succumbed to death
The subjects approached the dying in funeral conclamations. Mourning and wailing they rushed out at the still warm body of their patron and started ravenously to gobble up his sacred blood. Then cut up his revered body into small snippets flayed it and bared the veins, greedily imbibing the long-cherished liquid.
The carouse seemed to have no end. The fear was absent and the rule of proscriptions was breached. The commoners swarmed up and down the sacred coach, snatching from each other the jewel-studded wreath, cutting the halo-suffused garment of priest and sharing it.
The passage pavement was littered with the snippets of the tattered body. The eyeless head was spiked on the pillar.

The bridges are burnt

The warm tunic was undone and he sallied out stubbornly from the wet bosom. The maternal vagina blocked his path like an impassable wall, not letting him escape, not letting him break free from it. But he fled agonizingly the dark and narrow hole striving outward.
First he put out his head, then struggled with his arms, hoisted up his body across the narrowest pathways.
The wet and cherished life was curving out its passage from the mother’s perseverant bosom. Outward he was faced with blinding light. He did not expect to appear in such a cold and impersonal space. From the very first moment he had taken an aversion to the alien world, finding it inadmissible. He decided to go back to his mother’s warm bosom, but the way back was blocked. He felt he was doomed. He felt as if he had lost for good his natural milieu. As a way of protest, he refused to inhale the rarified air, refused to unfold his lungs and ceased breathing in utter despair.
Someone grasped him with a jerking motion. Then he was smacked bitterly in the face, his mouth was opened forcefully and inhaled with such stinky air that his lungs momentarily opened in disgust and he burst into screaming.
The surrounding people dragged him, against his will, to the obnoxious world. Against his will, he was dragged back to the frostbitten place.

Father

He was shown to the ward by a doctor, trying to hold a check on his emotions and keep still, but the storm of his surmounting feelings was irresistible. Blood was rushing to his temples.
The white sheet-wrapped baby had leant his head on his mother’s breast. Only now he could feel he was truly a creator. The divine beauty of the newborn baby had arrested him. He was himself an artist but none of his works could be set beside this beauty. He stood at the head of the bed breathless and overwhelmed with paternal benevolence.
“The most utmost level of art is birth”, he thought infused with pride at the sight of his own creation.
His heart was eased of the burden of the sleepless night. The last night’s suppressing emotion, however, gave him no rest. If not his quick-minded brother, a doctor, who had made the baby cry by breathing at him cigarette-smoke, the baby would have remained stillborn.

Charmed Bosom

Autumn was drawing to a close. The sun of Malaga was imparting its usual warmth. Cold days were tardy comers to the southern bank of the Mediterranean Sea.
He came out of the maternity hospital and bent his steps alone towards the bank. He was eager to be alone. Obsessed with agoraphobia, he was suppressed at the sight of narrow, people-lined streets. He felt his eyes darken and his body was trembling as if from shiver.
At last he escaped from the city and breathed freely finding himself on the beach. Peace settled upon him only at the boundless space of the farthest-flung sea.
The beach seemed desolate. Sea birds flew in the sky.
He wiped the sweat-covered forehead and inhaled deeply the fresh, frisky air of the morning. Then he sat down on the sand made warm by the sea, crossed his arms on his knees and directed his stare at the never-ending sea. He remained thus long contemplating the shining sun and the blue dashing waves of the Mediterranean Sea. The mysterious voice of the sea lying flat under the warm sun had an arousing effect on him.
He got undressed and gave himself to the sea. He felt as if he were getting closer to the bottomless, warm bosom. The sea was caressing him too and dragged him thus to the depth. He beat careless the tenderly shaking waves, feeling warm in the charmed bosom and Swimming in beatitude.
The impersonal sandy beach was far away.

Pigeon keeper

Father was in charge of the art museum. At a leisure time he was fond of drawing pigeons and his studio was full of their stuffed birds and cages. He was attached Pigeon keeper as a sobriquet as he went to the Mercedes Square every day and feasted his ears on the cooing of pigeons.
Pigeons would fly from the quiet, pale sky surrounding the leafy trees in the yard. He stood bewitched contemplating the pigeons, which acted like peace messengers between the earth and the sky, calling the terrestrial for humility and reconciliation with the colorless space.

Convicted

Pablo was sitting motionless listening reluctantly to the boring lessons. The time on the ancient clock hanging on the wall trailed on lifeless.
From time to time he stole a look at the road, waiting impatiently for his father to come and take him home. He felt an aversion and a strange fear towards the school. He was a complete failure in getting used to the tiresome monotony. Arithmetic was what he hated most of all. Don Jose was concerned about the backwardness of his son.
Pablo would do anything to escape from classes, where he went equipped with a paintbrush and a stuffed pigeon stolen from home without father’s permission. This would insure the early coming of his father, for Pablo knew, what the loss of the paintbrush and the pigeon meant to him.
Father would appear before him. Without a single word, he would rest his eyes at his son in an expectation of his confession.

Picador

Father took him to the corrida. The butchered bull gave off the smell of the stuffed pigeon. It was then he drew his first painting. The toreador in his painting was dressed in a yellow garment. The ground was brown, the walls were pink.
He was obsessed with the hankering after painting. His paint-blotted hands were shivering. From time to time he would fix his eyes at his father, sitting for hours, unable to take his eyes away from his son. His father’s stare was to him like a mystery-shrouded enigma. He was staring at him persistently, trying to model the bull’s eyes on his father’s eyes.
The painting was almost accomplished, but the eyes went on defying. He thought his hands were tied by the force of his father’s observation and waited impatiently for his retiring from the room.
As if the father had taken the hint, he went, then came back again and handed to him pointed nails.
-You can make punctures instead of eyes. I think it will come out better.
Pablo could say nothing. Silently he took the sharpened nails and pricked the eyes on the picture.

Punishment

The empty room contained only a chair. The walls were painted white and there was a small window cut near the ceiling.
Having been turned out of the class, he was shut up in the claustrophobic cell of the school. The room in the shape of a four-cornered cube strengthened his insight into the innermost layers of the soul.
He stroked the bare walls with a hand and stared at them persistently. Nothing to him was more beautiful than this immaculate whiteness. He lent his forehead on it to feel the maternal smell. Complete equilibrium and quietness had settled upon the world.
He looked up once more at the primordial calmness of the walls. Took a piece of coal from his pocket and began to draw on them with shivering hands.
The white silence was desecrated with chaotic black lines.

The lost sun

The museum in Malaga was closed. A curator’s post – abolished. Father was forced to leave the sunny Malaga and remove his family to the north, Galicia.
Days were still warm, characteristically of September. On the day of departure, however, a whirlwind broke out and made several passengers aboard the vessels decide against the voyage.
The vessel was distancing gradually from the sunny beach of Andalusia.
Corunio was found rainy and gray.

Boredom

It started to rain with no let-up, endlessly so. The house was only a small distance away from the Atlantic Ocean. The cold onshore wind tore leaves away from the trees and scattered them mercilessly upon the ground dappled with yellow sorrow.
The spell of the weather was broken every now and then. Father spent all days at the window, scanning the gloomy leaden sky of the north.
The mourner over the sun’s death was overwhelmed by black mood. The fever of boredom had made a complete possession of him. The unbearable surroundings had compelled him to give up even panting. The white pigeons of inspiration did not caress him in the cloudy Galicia.
In deep despair he cut off the dead pigeon its legs, attached them to a clean paper and asked Pablo to accomplish the painting.
“The wind was stirred up to blow until the death-day of La Corunio.”

Pigeons on demand

Spring came to its close, so did summer… There was no change in the spell of the weather. The cold winds went on blowing from the Atlantic Ocean. The gray sky was covered with colorless clouds.
He thought about Malaga the whole days, feeling as if he were banished from the mother Andalusia. There was a sense of not-belonging and complete estrangement to Galician’s. The more time flew the more unbearable seemed to him his stay in Corunna.
In the evening he would go to the park in the contemplation of finding white pigeons there. But there was an absolute nothingness on the cloud-crenellated horizon. The seal of gloominess was etched deep into every line. There was a smell of dampness in the air.
He tried to charm away his black mood, but with the passage of time he was more and more sucked into a feeling of hopelessness and despair. The entrance door of the house still bore an announcement: Pigeons on Demand.

Umbrella

It still goes on raining… raindrops fall down like sharp-pointed nails.
Father was lent back in his armchair, watching gloomily the rain-swept yard. He seemed to have cocooned himself in the world of private concentration, detached from what was going on, taking no interest. He was a failure in the ability to find spiritual peace in this chaotic world. He sat at the table abstracted in deep thoughts with his head buried in hands.
“Unquestioning slave of time – he thought of himself considering the expired life as senseless. The downhill of life had approached him without noticing. The time was irreversible; he could not go back and undo the past.
He had already grown out of infantile dreams. Now he considered it impossible to make considerable alterations, to stray away from the appointed course of life. He was no more disposed to creation. To the fate of unsuccessful painter too, he was already accustomed. Fear had vanquished him; the built-in cowardice was giving him no rest, having burnt in him every nerve of inspiration.
He took a paintbrush from the shelf and began to paint.
The rain continued in the picture too. Then he covered the melancholy bursting out from the sombre sky like nails with a huge umbrella.

Science and Charity

He was standing before the newly finished painting of Pablo and could not help wondering. Everyone was asleep and he was able to perceive its contents in quietness. The silence was hanging around the room. Only the burring of the cold autumnal wind issued from the outer space.
Preoccupied in thoughts and staring at a huge canvas, he could not believe his eyes. He himself had never been able to create such a thing and now found it difficult to recognize his son’s superiority.
“Can this be my doom’s day?!” –he asked himself trying to evade the answer. He took to pacing up and down the room like one shut up in a cage. He was conscious of everything being ended now. It was his last defeat. And it was his son who had destroyed him.
He had been haunted by the demon of art for the whole life. But he was hard-pressed to accompany this demon along the darksome ways of inspiration. The demon was dragging him relentlessly, but the fear was so excruciating he was compelled to elude the magnet-like power with inhuman struggling.
Then his memory traveled him back to the early days, when he was still able to pursue the call of inspiration. The life circumstances killed in him this striving after art, but his relentless spirit had managed to smash through the hopelessness and despair, restoring the worship of muse.
But it was then. Now the motivational force of art was exhausted, impoverished, taking the last breath like the condemned by doctors patient. But he was himself the reason of this incurable malady and the only thing he could now do was to give up the dying and abandon himself to despair.
He was staring abstracted at the picture, unable to guess how Pablo might have taken into his head such a design.
The painting was called “Science and Charity”. The doctor had seated himself at the head of the bed of the dying patient feeling his pulse. As if it was him who had to infuse with life the battered inspiration. But the art which was doomed to death could no more be saved.

The Last Conversation

Demon – In vain you feel my pulse. There is no hope.
Don Jose – I know it, but I can’t help it. What if I may save your life?
Demon- – It’s late. Can’t you see I’m drawing my last breath? You cannot help me now. Put it out of your head.
Don Jose – I hope being close to you may ease me of pain.
Demon – Such is our fate. But it’s nothing. Many others too, have suffered a failure. Some of them ended their days by suicidal.
Don Jose – In the whole course of my life I have tormented you with my self-satisfaction and the striving after a quiet life. I have betrayed you incurring upon you an incurable disease.
Demon – It was the disposal of destiny. You thought me God, but I proved to be impotent. I poisoned you with my venomous nectar, intoxicated you from the early infancy, and distorted eternally your soul.
Don Jose – I sometimes think it all was to be so. Perhaps I myself could not do it the other way?!
Demon – Hand it over to Pablo. Who knows? Good bye.
Don Jose – Good Bye.

Telemachus

The mystical sacrifice was accomplished. The son made the cherished part of the father’s soul his own.
The nails were sharpened and the deluge of vengeance descended from the sky. Father placed himself under this unmerciful sky riveting his eyes to the arrows hurled by his son and letting them be thus scorched.
Now he is blind and will never be able to curve out his passage along the precipitous way of art. The old age having drawn to a close roars at him like a gaping abyss. One erroneous step aside from the path and he will collapse shamefully upon the lethally pointed ridge.
He chose to depart. Sidestepped the hazardous paths and declined forever to pursue the thorny way of the Golgotha of art. The spiritual outburst lasted just for the fraction of a second. He gave no thought to who was the winner or loser and bequeathed to his son the mission of pursuing the demoniac ways.

Christ bestowing mercy on the Satan

Pablo was standing before the easel and went on painting quietly. A strange plot kept a hold on his mind several days. Its title too, had stuck involuntarily into his head: “Christ bestowing mercy on Satan”. He had hardly put a touch with a brush on the picture then he was taken aback by his father. The influx of excitement possessed him as if he were caught in a crime.
He wanted to look back but father was there and he dared not to turn around. He felt father’s bewitching glance even without looking at him. He forced himself not to betray any sign of having noticed him and continued painting.
The silence dragged on. Neither of them was willing to break it and answer the primeval questions.
“The love of God the father is boundless and will extend to bestowing mercy on the Satan himself until the second coming” – he said and gave Christ the face and eyes of his father on the painting.

Red Cock

His forehead was covered with beads of cold sweat. He flung the blood-tainted knife to the earth and fixed his eyes at the throat-slit cock. The beheaded cock was floundering painting red the earth and the green grass. The stinky smell of blood was permeating through the air.
He turned on the tap, trying to wash the drops of the blood off his hands.
“These hands shall never be touched upon by the sanctity” – he said, approaching them to his nose.
“They still give off the smell of the blood. The odorous grasses of the whole Arab world will not cleanse these small hands”.

The Blind are better painters

The night was drawing to a close. The narrow studio was enveloped in cigarette smoke. He knocked off the ash on the ashtray and went up to the armchair. His eyes were burning through the lack of sleep. A horrible exhaustion had struck root in the whole body.
There was the ancient edition of Sopocle’s tragedies on the bed. He took the book with a battered cover and leafed it through up to the earmarked page. The memory of the blind eyes of Oedipus surged up in his mind. He bethought himself of the blind old people reflected in his latest paintings. He understood why he was so allured to the painting of spiritual impotence of the blind and their emaciated faces: He had himself blinded his father creation-wise!
“The blind are better painters” – he said shifting his glance to the blue painting on the easel.

Blue

The sky was dyed blue. Sombre afterglow had descended upon the horizon. Infused with the expectation of the cherished rendezvous with darkness, he kissed a good-bye to the daylight. Blue shadows took him by the hand and carried him away to the distant depths of gloomy colours. He departed from the ordinary chaotic world. Ahead was the never-ending and limitless ocean. This marked the start of the death of the reason.
The backward ways to the consciousness were cut with a sharpened scythe. He took an abode in the domain of shadows. As if he had found at last what he had been seeking for the whole of his life. The salvation of the soul is beyond the penetration by the mind and reason. His natural milieu was there. Temporarily he had broken free from suffocating chains of the consciousness, running away from the crisp light of the sun and descending into the blue Hades. Now he will be beneath the consciousness swimming through the blue expanse of the boundless ocean.
He is a submissive captive of the blue night. The subconscious to him appears as a blue angel, which is a protective filter between him and the disgusting world.
The body is dying. The soul is denuded of the stinky cage of flesh and skeleton. The denuded soul mounted on the blue Pegasus gallops unrestrainedly beyond the invisible.

Irony of Destiny

The painting showed an old man bending his legs morbidly. His gray-haired head was flung onto his shoulder. The old emaciated musician was playing the guitar.
“These elongated El Greco-styled faces are geek to me” – said his father, staring at the newly accomplished painting. Velasquez to him was more acceptable than these artificially elongated objects. He tried to penetrate beneath the surface of his son’s stubborn dedication to this unfathomable art, which in him instilled only disgust.
Pablo was standing at the window staring at the century-old tree in front of the studio. Deep within his thoughts he did not even give father an answer.
The cold winter was at an end. The trees denuded of leaves resembled hopeless eye-devoid creatures.
“It’s strange he takes such an aversion to El Greco. He dislikes my paintings as well. He still lives in the term of the Renaissance and cannot put up with new forms of representation” – he thought. Pablo was still looking through the window. The most strange thing, however, which he was painful to reveal even to himself was that the old musician accomplished as per the brushwork seeming so disgusting to his father, stood allegory-wise for father himself.

Involuntary Icon

“While painting, my thoughts involuntarily turn to my father. His image is contained in whatever I have painted.”

Inner Eye

The door opened and a blind old man came into the Pere Rome Café. He was treading his path with a stick until he was met by a young waiter who made him sit at an empty table. There was a Judy show in the café and a hall was swarming with people.
The blind man let his hand creep across the table and touched a water-filled jar. His small frail hands were similar to the enlivened branch of the old tree.
Pablo was sitting at the opposite table with Sabartes staring at the movement of the old man’s hands.
-So strange, – he said – He can see absolutely nothing.
-Isn’t he like a room with blinded windows? – Said Sabartes. – The shutters of the outer world are closed.
-It must be a strange feeling. The inward look this time gets more strengthened.
The old man took the jar and filled a glass with groping hands. The waiter put a mug of beer before him.
-Thanks, – said the blind man. The waiter smiled to him and retraced his steps.
-How do you think – said Pablo – Is not the blind artist truly magnificent? Only the imagination is present and you can see without physical sight.
-It makes no difference, – said Sabartes. – The true face of this world is anyway beyond the grasp of all of us.
“The truth seen in the dark labyrinths of the blindness, – he said, – painting too, is the visible façade of the concealed inner world.”

Blue Lucifer

The moonlight filtered through a small window of the narrow studio. The room was glistening in blue. The floor was scattered with paintbrushes and unfinished canvases. Owing to poor lightning he was forced to paint in the misty room.
He was standing at the window looking at the poor district of the blue-illuminated city. The sight of whores, and those suffering from consumption and syphilis glanced suddenly before his eyes. Lucifer was on a foray in the abysmal hell of poverty and depravity.
The roofs of the houses had assumed the color of azure. Detached from the world were these miserable inhabitants, enveloped in the mist of uncertainty and not belonging. He himself was on the brink of poverty and hunger trying to find his relief in the tranquility of the blue colour, broken away from the chaotic reality.
“The blueness of the Egyptian hell” – he said and shut heavily the only window facing the apocalyptic bottom.

The candle is burning and going to waste

He was standing near the body of the deceased Casagemas, thinking of the life having been ceased by suicidal.
“Can there be happiness in this world?” – this was the question, which read on the wax-colored face. He had given up painting in his early days addicting himself to drink to overcome the distressful feeling of vanity. Haggard and intoxicated with wine he sauntered from store to store. Then he would visit the whorehouse. Slaking his lust, he would return to the store again. He was a slave to the venomous feeling of evanescence and relentless hankering after the self-destruction.
He stood livid staring at his friend’s corpse. The deathly force of despair had drifted the weak reason to suicidal. He was infused with shuddering fear towards the irresistible hopelessness of a man and the absurdity of the artificially ended life.
Then he shifted his glance to a candle beside the head of the deceased.
“This candle is also evanescent. It will soon go to waste- he thought – but meanwhile it will be burning to the end!”

La Vie

He is hung on the cross between his mother and the beloved woman. Both are nails driven through his palms like punishment.
Nirvana-like aspiration in the warm vagina.
He was unrelievedly driven to the dungeon of the hell.
The warm breast of his mother makes him forget the frosty space.
There is no mucus membrane on his head now. The roof is out of sight, above is only the inaccessible and rain-swept sky.
Hopeless wandering through the blurred mist in search of the lost warmth and a roof. Now he seemed to have found one. He had discerned the smell of her mucus among the thousands of humans, imbibing ravenously her milk-sweet lips.
He was finally decoupled from his mother. Still, never had she been closer to him. For the warm breast of his mother now the beloved woman stood.
Envy and insidious hostility. The one and only idol of the two women.
The Caucasian chalk circle. He felt he was grasped from both of the sides and dragged into opposite directions.
…And he was thus hung on the cross between his mother and beloved to him a woman.

Burst of a Navel String

He came up to the window, resting his forehead on a cold mirror and focusing his glance on the dusky streets of the drowsy Barcelona. The colour of pale violet had dyed the sky. The city bathed in the moon’s dull light seemed desolate. The midnight was long past but the sleep was still keeping away from him. He stood motionless listening to the hush of the night.
The mysterious city in the light of lampposts gave a majestic effect. He felt he was being wrapped in the void of the violet-colored night. Basking at the sight of the dull desert-like streets, he felt the time stop. One could hear a moth pass.
Then he riveted his eyes at the roofs enveloped in the moon rays. The pale silhouettes of the dark walls reflected the bluish light. The ancient city was asleep. The black afterglow had descended upon the labyrinthine mazes. The ugly houses with defaced walls reminded of the emaciated skeletons of the ill.
He had been in the black mood the whole day. Parting with Barcelona was a torture to him, but staying in it inflicted on him no less suffering. He was sick of the maze of small lanes gridlocked with dirty trenches, visits to Rambla whorehouses, endless carouses of the insane in the San- Juan studio. Deaf walls gave him no rest. He felt he was shut up in a cage.
To his sight now came his father’s face blurred with melancholy. To feel free, he had rented for him a separate studio, but the closeness of his father still acted surprisingly on him. He was still under the effect of his surveillance and care. He was already past 20; he could not always dance attendance on his father or be tied to his mother’s apron strings.
He was intoxicated with an irresistible desire to escape to Paris. The Pyrenees was still to be crossed to attain his self-establishment. He thought it was in this intellectual centre of Europe where the scope of creative fantasy could flourish fool-bloodedly.
He left the studio in the early morning and went home. The desire of departure had struck such deep roots within him that there was no point in trying to dissuade him. His people did their utmost but could not bring him to alter his decision.
-You have nothing left? – Dona Maria asked her husband musing over the sudden decision of Pablo. Mother was not au fait of art, but she believed in it fanatically.
Father rose and went to his room. He left for himself only several pesetas which would help his family to hold out up to the end of the month and handed everything he owned to his son.

Yo el Rey

In the evening Pablo called at the Rome café to bid goodbye to his friends and returned to the studio late. He was due to Paris in the morning and had to put his things into order.
He had a strange feeling that something had ended and something was just being born, something new, quite unfathomable and inaccessible. He thought his parting with Barcelona would be a panacea to his melancholy. He believed only Paris could heal him of his malady.
The feeling of hopelessness had went up into smoke. The desolate soul was rejoicing its victory. Having broken free from the constraining chains, he was now drifting to beyond the border of the unexplained.
His head was burning from inebriety. With staggering steps he went up to the self-portrait hanging on the wall and exhilarated in the happy expectation, wrote the magic words; “Yo el Rey… Yo el Rey … Yo el Rey …”

The Distant Cold Sky

The exhibition hall of Berta Veil closed early. None of his 15 paintings had sold.
He went down the Sena Street crest-fallen. From disappointment he had suffered a lot. Lack of confidence in his own self and the feeling of inferiority were constantly attacking him, but the cruelty had never been as insulting to him as it was today.
The winter frost was biting. He put up the collar of his coat. The edge of the hunger was dulled already though he had not had a bite. He did not think of the frozen flat either he was so thoroughly engulfed by the overarching pang of failure.
He had met his Waterloo. Paris did not accept him. Vainly he had expected a miracle of being understood some day.
He stopped at the ridge of the sidewalk and looked upward at the sky. He felt he was dwarfed by the mind-blowing grandeur of Paris.

Lines on the Ashes

It was snowing without a pause. The Walter Square was dressed up in white. The frost was pressing through the cracks of the narrow room.
He wanted to collect money to buy wood, but his paintings had failed to sell even at a penny. He was standing frostbitten with Max Jacob and had his eyes fastened at his canvases burning in the blazing fire. The fire was quick to kindle them.
-How could you have taken it into your head to destroy them?! You might have sold them tomorrow! We could have survived this evening somehow – said Max sitting at the fire, warming his hands.
– There is no point. I have no interest and feel no regret.
– Of course, you feel.
– No, I don’t. To the contrary, it gives me pleasure.
– It is not the truth.
– No, it is, Max. I’m disgusted with everything and feel sick.
– I don’t think so. The paintings were splendid and you should not have destroyed them for just one warm evening.
– Don’t worry. It is not worth mentioning.
– I understand.
– Then don’t ask me anything, please.
He rose from his chair to light a cigarette on the embers and then launched into pacing up and down the room with nervous steps.
The fireplace was giving off the pleasant warmth. The smell of the scorched watercolours and paints mingled into the air.
He fixed his eyes at the lines drawn in the ashes. The silhouette of his father’s eyes had curved out like a ghost on the blazing ashes.

On the Balcony, Upward

He spent the whole night before the easel painting without rest. The paints soon ran out. It took him an exertion to put a check on his creative outburst. He knew neither tomorrow would allow him to paint for he was tight on money.
He went out on the balcony and rested his arms on the railing. The evening-glow was glistening deep blue. He looked over the silence of the night from the fifth floor and was suddenly arrested by the thought of suicidal.
All kind of suffering could be choked in an instant of minute. He will now jump from this height and expire until he reaches the earth. The newspaper will mention him in two sentences. He may as well not appear in the newspaper at all and be forgotten as if he had never come to the world.

The Rolled Up Paintings

He now knew he was an abject failure in Paris. He would never imagine to be thus rejected. The Mecca of artists had not accepted an alien from the foreign country. He tried to breast the blows of fate, but his every step was wiped off by the unpredictable reality. To stay in Paris was now useless. To starving he preferred going home.
At last he sold the only picture: “Mother on the Beach of the Sea”. The derived sum could pay him only the travelling expenses to Barcelona.
He rolled up the remaining paintings and left them to his friend, Ramon Pichot.
– It may come in handy to you. I leave to you everything I have painted during my stay here.
– You yourself did not find any use in them, neither will I, maybe. Anyway, don’t worry about them.
– Be damned to them. I wish I had never come here. It seems the hell is whirling in my head.
– Let’s go and have a glass of cognac. It will ease you heart.
He shook his head and rose from the down-at-heel armchair. Pichot took the rolled up paintings and flung the whole ‘blue period” onto the head of the wardrobe.

Never

He had toiled up the Tabidabo Mountain and was now facing the Barcelona bosom. The ancient native city had opened up before him like a palm. The pale moon was shining in the sombre sky. He relished the splendour wrapped up in a blue mist.
Mother finds it hard to let her fetus break away from her. There is an unbearable frost outside and the fetus having disconnected with its mother is doomed to eternal solitude. One is always being pulled to the original warmth. It is impossible to ever tear away from it.
He was always dreaming to have wings, to dash down from the height of mountain and get closer to this delightful warmth.

A Watchful Eye

He went up the circular staircase and knocked at the door of Sabartes. There was no response.
“He must be wandering somewhere” – he said and retraced his steps. While descending the staircase he gave a backward glance at the bare walls.
He had come up these stairs on more than one occasion accompanied by the famous whores of Barcelona. He always felt the smell of exhilaration and unrestrained orgasm in this place. Then he remembered how Sabartes used to mock him saying he had a perverted sense of smell for whores.
He was conscious of this destroying smell again. Taken by the delirious lust, he dashed at a paintbrush and embarked on painting the wall of corridor to damp down the exuberance of passion somehow.
A nude moor was hanging on the tree. In the pre-death agony his phallus had erected itself upwards voluptuously. His sunken eyes kept in sight the nude pair fused passionately under the tree. The lewd orgasm sent an ecstatic shiver through him. Rabid with passion, the condemned was in convulsions.
The sunlight peered through the oval window spraying the burning rays upon the painted wall. Even the window was watchful of the pair united in love. He painted huge eyelashes to the window. The sun-illuminated window was momentarily converted into the eye open wide with curiosity.
The only delight of this degraded world and it too was pursued by a watchful eye, one could never escape it.
On the following day he called on Sabartes again to find his painting was absent. The inhabitants had washed down the walls painted with shameless passion.
Only the window had retained its huge eyelashes. From the eye of this oval window the sun was still peering spraying its light upon the bare walls.

Babel

He was imbued with unremitting craving to go to Paris, which gave him no rest even from afar. He kept in vision the cell in the Hugens Street, the underground den of artists.
He could not resist once savoured temptation, which had cast a spell upon him.
Again he arrived in Babel.
He knew hunger would disappear. Thirst too would be slaked. In Paris even the hungry were nourished with aspiration.

Bateau-Lavoire – Mecca of the Penniless

He took his residence in the Ravignon Street. The house on the knoll kept in view Paris. Bateau Lavoire – washing ship was the name of this old building though it had never housed any launderette. Mecca of penniless artists was what would suit this house best.
It had gathered under the same roof infamous and poor artists, poets, writers, yard-keepers and vendors. Having all come from various countries, they were strangers to political social or national disagreements. International patriotism was considered to be a particular privilege of Paris. Poverty was what brought closer the people of different degrees of life and constitution of character. They often had rows but while in the depth of poverty they shared the last crumbles of bread with each other. They were unable to go to the theatre through the lack of money and staged performances themselves under the lamplight. The house had no watchman and the door therefore was never closed. In leisure time they arranged gatherings and shared with each other the gossips of Paris.

A White Mouse

He went out of the café at dawn desirous to go home alone. With a struggle he got rid of a beer-drunk woman having accosted him. It was a marvelous warm morning of summer. The clouds had no presence in the serene sky. The lop-sided trees lining the street had put on a coat of green. The tables across the sidewalk seemed empty. Lapin Agile too, was closed and pedestrian now was a rare spectacle.
The alcohol had got into his head. He pursued his progress in the street swinging from side to side. The memory of the previous night’s orgy gave his heart a squeeze. His head was burning. Again the sorrow was stirred up in his heart. He loathed himself. It had not been a month since he arrived in Paris and the original self-assurance was already on the wane, he felt he was swallowed up by this alien city.
“If things are not going to take a change, I’ll cook my goose,” he said inhaling a deep gulps of the frisk air of morning.
The sun of May was gaining in strength. He felt the warmth running through his limbs. He tried to streamline his stride, crossed the Ravignon Square and went up the narrow stairs of Bateau Lavoire. As he approached his flat in the half-lit corridor, his eye was grabbed by a box of sardines, a piece of bread and a bottle of wine. It did not come as a surprise to him, as his Spanish friend, Paco Durio often provided for him to save him from starvation.
He opened the door to be assailed by the air soaked through with the smell of linseed oil and paraffin. He gave a glance around his miserable hole. His heart sank. The furniture of the studio consisted of an old mattress, a shaky table and a rust-corroded oven of cast iron. The room was in disorder, which had now become the necessary attribute of his character. It seemed to him things scattered in disarray added to his craving after painting and afforded him a greater scope of imagination.
He sat down on the battered armchair and the weight of his body made the spring’s squeak. Thoughts surged up in his mind again. The senseless waste of time and endless orgies rankled with his nerves painfully. He directed his hopeless glance at the sooted ceiling dappled with a spider’s net. Then he shifted his glance to the representation of some banknotes.
“He must have been as destitute as I am and in times of dearth drew banknotes on the walls”.
He rose from the shaky armchair and poured the water over himself from a yellow clayey mug. He was wiping his body as he heard the sound of knocking at the door. He put on a pelerine and made his way to the door to find Paco there staring at him with newly-awaken eyes. He seemed quite tipsy.
– I heard your footsteps as you were ascending the stairs – said Paco – Where were you Yesterday?
– How do you think? Where could I be? – He said. He was reeking of wine, but bore himself as if nothing had happened.
– I don’t know.
– In the “Frisky Rabbit” of Frede.
– Are you missing Margo’s crow?
– Stop it.
– By the way, how is our brilliant donkey, Lola?
– She is fine. She cannot be better.
– Well, is she still infused with the lust after art?
– Yes, of course, but you have never had such an experience yourself.
– It’s interesting.
– They say animals have better ability for imagination.
– I imagine you made Frede draw with a tail the rise of the moon above the roof of the cabaret.
– Are you fool?
– I’m a little drunk. My head is bursting. Are you drunk too?
– No, not too much.
– But you have all the earmarks of having drunk a lot, -said Paco staring at his reddened eyes – You are a drunkard and a vagabond and your striving after art has cooled so!
– Stop it. Don’t poke fun at me in this early morning.
– Are you aware of the misfortune you are in?
– Eh, – he said shaking his head.
– Have I hurt your feelings? I’m a little drunk that is why I’m so insisting.
– For God’s sake.
– Well, -said Paco after a short pause – Manolo was come. We waited for you for a long time. We were on the spree and were accosted by one girl then the three of us got intoxicated. The girl’s got class! You’ll go crazy about her.
– You seem to have fallen for her.
– I’m sure you’ll cut me with her.
– It is not my fault, you bring girls to my burrow and they two-time you after this.
– I can’t understand how you manage to win them over?! This girl too, kept deluging us with questions about you. It was more than we could bear and described you to her as a scarecrow.
– I can imagine. Yesterday I happened to hurt Manol and maybe he took a revenge on me.
– I wish you had been with us the last night. We had a mind-blowing orgy and left at dawn. We missed you all.
– Really? Very good.
– Won’t you come with us this evening? _Paco asked him looking at him with glistening eyes – We shall be met there. Max will come too.
– No, I don’t think I will.
– What’s the problem?
– I’ve got some work. Ude ordered me a painting for three hundred Franks.
– Where did you come across this German man?
– Germans have a much more discerning smell of art.
– It is still in question the smell of what they have. They are rather poisoned with the unusual smell of Monmart.
– Just like us, Spaniards.
– Well, will you come with us?
– I must have it completed by the morning.
– Painting will wait just for one evening.
– Painting will, but what about hunger and shortage of money?
– Don’t be fool.
– I can’t, really. Besides, My head is bursting through the lack of sleep.
– All right. I’d rather go and sleep up to the evening. – Paco muttered and went out of the room.
He lent back to the door wiping his face with his hands. Again he gave a glance around his burrow and bethought himself of his being, which was nothing but cold comfort to him. He knew he could achieve nothing of value in this distressful struggle for bread. It was now he felt most acutely all the hopelessness and bitterness he had incurred through running from home. His thoughts traveled him back to Barcelona. There too, he was engaged in a daily struggle for self-establishment and his own voice, but he felt his parents’ support and always found a way-out of the crisis.
“Here’s is what I thought was my cherished world” – he said. Then he shrugged his sleepless eyes directing his glance at the sunlight issuing from a small window. He was breathing greedily the heady air of the morning. Then a scratching sound was brought to his ears and he remembered a white mouse. He drew out a table drawer carefully, put the mouse on his palm and gave it breadcrumbs to nourish itself with.

A Frugal Dinner

It was pelting with rain. The infuriated storm was breaking the branches off the trees and the street was littered with smashed debris. In search of shelter, the pedestrians were running as fast as legs could carry them.
He was standing at the entrance door of Bateau Lavoire staring at the chimneys on the house roofs. He was about to go back when he was suddenly conscious of some woman rushing in and bumping into him in the hardly-lit corridor. The woman seemed young with dark red hair coming down to her waist. She had escaped from the rain and was now soaked through. The wet dress glued tight to her legs.
He stood confused staring at the woman’s hair dripping wet. He reached to her wet hands and they made their way across the narrow corridor. When he gave her fingers a squeeze, the woman looked at him for a second but was so charmed with his black eyes at the waning light that she did not let her emotions show. She pursued her progress in the dark with no regard to her surroundings. Unfathomable force dictated her not to let her hand be freed from his grip.
-Oh, my God – said the woman, – what a pelting rain, I am bathed in sweat through running.
-You should be careful not to run into anything – said Pablo with a happy smile.
The woman said nothing; she only looked into his shameless eyes.
– Will you come in for a while? – He said stopping at the door of his studio. I’ll offer you a glass of Spanish Absent. You will get warm and may as well have a look at my paintings.
– With pleasure – said the woman after quite a long-winded silence and accompanied him into the room.
The floor was cluttered up with unfinished canvases. The paints on the straw chair had gathered dust. The oven near the dirty window contained no fire. The table bore one frozen glass.
The woman focussed her tranquil serene glance at a painting titled “Frugal Dinner”. The bitter implication of this painting and the meager contents of the room had made no effect on her as she herself was a dweller of the Bateau Lavoire, the Mecca of magnetic power of the bohemian life.

A Hopeless Contemplation

Winter was in. The onset of frost had marked the end of the shedding of leaves. The sidewalks were lined up with nude trees. The yellow sun was shining feebly. The homogeneity and monotony of cold winter was hanging around the area. The streets had become sparse of pedestrians sauntering frostbitten and shriveled up.
– That’s fine, – said Pablo outlining the woman’s profile in the picture.
– I’m frozen. I’ll cover myself with a blanket for a while –said Fernanda rising from her bed and wrapping the shabby blanket around herself. Her teeth were striking together from cold.
The frost had varnished the windows. The unbearable cold had made the room its own. They had no money to buy coal and there was no fire burning in the oven.
Pablo was breathing his hands. He wrapped a scarf round his throat and went on painting. From time to time he directed his glance at Fernanda. It was only her eyes that showed from the blanket. The sight of her serene face gave his heart a pang. The woman was in love with him and it was a feeling so intense as to make her forget about both: cold and poverty. From an early age she had denied herself all the comfort of living under the same roof with her parents. She never complained about the destitution having already reconciled herself to the characteristic poverty of a young and infamous artist.
The sole of her shoe had been knocked off for several days already, but she was unable to buy a new pair. She was so allured to walking along Monmart, wandering throughout the cafes. Her friends would often come to take her out but she would stay in a frozen bed with unquestioning obedience, refusing to go out of the room.
– Luck seems to be on you side – said Fernanda – I am unable to go out and you can paint me as long as you like.
– Your efforts will be paid back in the future – said Pablo, looking at her with a smile.
– That’s a cold comfort.
– In return…
– In return I’m cold and starving.
– Be patient for a while. At twelve a courier will come from the baker’s.
– Have you ordered anything again?
– Yes, of course.
– I don’t think they will leave anything for us today.
– Why?
– We haven’t paid yesterday’s fee.
– Don’t worry. It has been the case before too. They know I’ll pay them entirely.
– Are you sure?
– I bet they will leave something under the door. Would you like some perfume? – Said Pablo.
– All right.
– Do you feel better now?
– Yes, I’m all in an expectation of a food-filled basket at the door.
– Lie quiet.
– The hoax seems to be great. I wish they cut short their knocking at the door. They are getting on my nerves.
He did not utter a word and went on painting. He tried not to think about his debts at the baker’s in the Abatisi Square. In case of failure he would visit the Verner Café in the Cavaloti Street and they would let him have at least a cup of coffee. He believed in the charity of the Verner Café. He himself had often extended a helpful hand to the young but necessitous artists. He would bring poor Fernanda a piece of cheese. In the morning the painting ordered by Clovis Sago would be ready enabling him to pay his depts.
There was a knock at the door. They did not answer. The silence lingered for a long time. He was standing at the easel staring at the women wrapped up in a blanket.
The knocking stopped. After a while he looked out of the window and as soon as the courier had disappeared from the Ravignon Square, he opened the door carefully. The cold air gulped into the room.
The frost sent a shiver through his limbs. He looked down to feel the disappointment stab his heart. There was no basket left.

Harlequin

He put on a motley cape; a patchwork of red and yellow colours and went out of the house in the guise of a jester’s mask.
Wrapped in a jester’s garment he felt his heart ease. The thoughts of the demise no more assailed him. He had vanquished them through this magical metamorphosis.
The mystical triumph over the death…
He can now become invisible and start floating without a body beyond the invisible. The absence of fear and the ability to transcend the bounds of time and space had always been his cherished ideal. The excruciating pain existing beyond the barriers had now disappeared. He had reached Hades and appareled in this fantastic outfit was now on a voyage throughout the psychic history of the mankind. It seemed to him he was an actor of the Judy show wandering through the streets in the garment of Christoporo and Pulchinel to divert the distasteful audience.

Gozol

Beyond the Andorra Plain there was a range of mountains wherefrom the roads became impassable. Hairpin paths spiraling up the slopes allowed journey only by donkeys. The impenetrable wood of cypresses skirted the Gozol Village extending itself above the upper Catalonia, on the ridge of the mountain. The red-hot sun of summer pressed through the leaves of the coniferous trees.
As if the time had stopped, the virginity of nature made itself felt vigorously. The perverted chaos of the world had not yet touched the pastoral height. The phantoms of the expired time lay around in the utter silence. The innocent space was drenched with the aroma of antiquity.
He was peering at the primitive masks chalked out on the cliff by the primordial ancestors. A hush had fallen over this unattained for the world height.
“Gallery under the canopy of the sky submerged in the triumphal silence”, -he said turning his eyes at the pointed cylinder forms. He came closer to the mountainous stone at the bottom of the cliff do discern more clearly the outlandish figures. They had escaped intact through the passage of time. The magical might of the ancestors was derived from impenetrable distance. The triangular mask-like faces had retained the enigmatic elan of the antecedents.
He sat down on the stone captivated, leaning his chin on the hand and staring at the centuries-old brushwork.
“The whole Renaissance in its entirety can’t hold a candle even to one figure on this stone”- he said feeling how cloyed he was with academism and formal perfection imbued with sentimentalism, mawkish lusciousness and elegiac allurement towards the elegant brushwork.
He felt the advent of fear. There was something new dawning on him, which had to demolish unmercifully the old idol.
He went up to the cliff looking down to the depths below the bottomless abyss. The boundless cavity remitted the sound of booing.

The End of the Century

He spent the whole summer in Gozol. The days passed there seemed to him like a halcyon era. He returned to Paris substantially altered.
“All these are sentiments” – he said, opening the door of the studio and glancing the paintings dispersed throughout the room. He felt the “blue” and “pink” periods were over. The sorrowful figures of the Madrano circus actors now appeared to him dull and boring.
“They seem to be tarred in the same mould”- he thought, feeling disgust towards the homogeneity and embellished simplicity.
He knew he would be mocked and declared as insane. He knew his apology of ugliness would be brought into derision. However, nothing could stop him now in these untrodden labyrinths of untraditional perception of the art. It was only the memory of his father that gave him an unconscious pang. He remembered Don Jose’s reverence towards Velasquez, his “Virginal Conception” and an ironic smile was brought to his lips.
“The innocent Spanish girl whose halo is illuminated by twelve stars.”
Father took him to Prado Museum to see Velasquez but it was the mystics of El Greco that captivated him rather than the adoration of the Magi or fauns attending the Bacchus. Even if he goes against his father’s will, he will not be able to create like Velasquez. Taken by the unrestrained passion to reject the traditional art, he managed to step over the hellish torture of guilt. Belabour produced the opposite effects, acting on him like soporific narcotic, easing him of pain.
He stared persistently at the unfinished portrait of Gertrude Stain: “by far more emotion and contents” he said attempting to alter thoroughly the previous design. At first he drew to the portrait disproportional eyes of different size. The left section he reduced considerably and made it screw a little, giving the face a shape of a mask.
Gertrude Stain would say later: “the pink period was accomplished by my portrait.”

“We take no interest in the contemplation of the garden beyond the window. Our attention is rather focused on the pane of the window which dissociates us from this garden.”
Dehumanization of Art, Gaset.

Stirring Whirlwind

It will get sombre and the darkness venomous as passion will gather thick in the ashen sky of autumn. The dull, tar-black and all-concealing night will fall in. Blue lamp-posts of gas will be lit hither and yon, revealing at least in part the defiled district of whore-houses.
He is wandering through the tortuous labyrinths of the narrow streets. The whores standing in the murky corners accompany him with shamelessly lascivious eyes. He feels he is gradually sucked into the dizzily stirring and heady whirlwind, gravitated to the boiling-hot and magnet-powered cavity. The reign of reason is breaking off into smithereens like a dismantled of the roof house. He takes a dive into the infinite chaos of the monstrous orgies.
In the whorehouses women are always nude. He slakes his tumultuous thirst. Passion gets calmer and he can no more stay in the void of this den. He runs away without looking back.
At the drawn open curtains the demons are now waiting for others.

Charmer of the Devil

The African masks seen in the Trocadero ethnographic museum proved to be of fatal importance to him. The image of devils he had carried over from cote d’Ivoire produced a magical impact. The masks were imparting around the unutterably maleficent hate. He too, was submerged into this suppressing mist, having contracted the hatred towards the existing. Captivated by the magical influence, he wanted to run away but something kept dragging him back. He could not budge an inch. His eyes looked motionless.
He thought the syphilis incurred in the whorehouse was an act of Satan. His recollection of Africans now was that of their belief, saying the mask was the means to elude the devil. Assuming the face of Satan and surrendering to his dominance at least one part of your being you became less dependent on him, they said. The primeval ancestors used to give the woman the face of Satan to protect themselves against the fleshly weaknesses.
His paintings too, were the masks, the medium between himself and the devil, the panacea to charm the shapeless Satan floating in his soul.

Fear of Death

He went to the Santa Crow mortuary where he knew he would find the corpse of the whore, an acquaintance of him.
“Pleasure is more than life, sometimes it calls for a sacrifice”- he thought on the way.
Blood had rushed to his face and he felt syphilis sliding throughout his body. There was nothing more desiring to him now than to launch a challenge to this perfidious enemy. He comforted himself thinking that Goya too was suffering from a venereal disease.
He had become a seeker after the phantom of death everywhere, trying to tame it somehow. To rid himself of the irresistible fear, he gave the whore suffering from syphilis in the painting his own eyes.
The fear of this involuntarily incurred disease had taken such a full possession of him, that it was impossible for him now to put himself at ease only by painting the face of the devil, or even delving into the San-Lazarus hell or seeing the corpse of the victim of syphilis in the Santa Crow mortuary. He himself had to create his own magic and bamboozle with the magical dialect the demoniac desire settled firmly within his smeared soul.
To eschew the in-built sorrow, he gave the demons his black eyes, then cut himself the enervated part off his flesh and gave it to the magical powers to charm away their sins.

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

He returned from the whorehouse shutting himself up in his own abode not to appear in the course of several days. He was still obsessed with the African black masks.
The magical force had landed upon him, enslaving him body and soul. He was painting like one possessed with a devil, desirous to vacate himself of all kinds of concepts and notions. He even removed from the painting a doctor-student and a sailor.
“The dressed up men were sitting with the nude whores. Then the men left. Isn’t it the usual case in the whore-houses?” – he thought ironically, going on to paint.
He could not beat out of his head the thoughts hovering over his incurable disease. Syphilis had become a hellish curse to him. He felt the sudden hatred towards women stir up in his heart, goading him into the desire to spit out this mounting hatred in the course of painting.
He gave the whores dreadfully distorted and obnoxious faces. It was as if he was trying to put into pillory the whole syphilis-tainted hell of the whorehouses. Triangular, elongated noses and over-sized, sticking out eyes.
Sorcery-induced masks of the Cote d’ Ivoire embankment.
The sin of deluge kept on raining for 40 days and 40 nights.
He felt as if the magical art of Avignon women had freed from the tainted soul. He had already divined and sensitized himself with the magical brushwork, acquiring the Black Magic of charming the demoniac.
With one stroke of the brush he rubbed out the delicate lines of Rafael and Velasquez, his father, trying to restore the lost innocence to the irretrievable past.
A sense of guiltiness did not torture him at all. The pain overflowing its banks was still able to produce a narcotic effect. He wondered at the easiness in which the father’s bewitched cage was smashed. Now he was out. The time of watchful supervision was over. If such being the case, he would finally take the upper hand over the pangs of conscience and never hark back to it.

Cubes, Mist

He strayed from the road and went on to the valley. The cold mist had stretched over the surface of the land. The more he distanced from the road, the deeper he got cocooned in the white mist.
He was so deep within his thoughts, he did not even notice when he was carried away by the claustrophobic space. He was surrounded with the seamless mist and was unable to see anything.
His eyes envisioned the cubist paintings comparing the concept enveloped in the outlandish forms to the mist lying around.
The severed lines. Cubes, cylinders. Disintegrated centre. Demoniac deformity.
Schizophrenia.
Intellectual-ironic anarchism. Grotesque masks.
Syphilis.
Dream-like visions of those suffering from consumption. Fragmental partition.
He himself was the cruel and unmerciful God desirous to create the centre-devoid world.

“Ma vie est un enfer”

The beam of hope was extinguished. Marsel had no chance to live. He knew consumption was an incurable disease. The fear of death notwithstanding, he had engaged his affection upon this frail, doll-like woman. He had never felt such an intense love before. Eva was the name he had given to her as a sobriquet, for she to him was the first and only temptation.
He recalled the pleasure of the halcyon days spent in Sera and Vila les Clochete. George Braque was together with them too, accompanied by his wife.
They took residence in Monparnas, the bohemian centre of Paris, in the vicinity of the cafes; La Cupole and Closeri de Lila. Their windows had the frontage of the old cemetery, opening up before them a saturnine and sorrow-pervaded view. He did not pay any heed to it until Gertruda Stain referred it to as an evil omen.
“He called her my beauty, as “oh, Manon, my beauty” was sung throughout the whole Paris, in cafes and parties.
She drew her last breath at dawn.
He was distraught with grief. His knees bent and his ears began to squeak.
He knelt down before the bed, flinging his hands around the dead. He felt a terrible weariness, having lost all kinds of interest.
Feeling forlorn, he could no more stay in this room having now converted into an aching void. He opened a window and inhaled a deep gulp of air. He did not even look at the cemetery stretching itself like a mummy. Suddenly he was conscious of the disagreeable smell of the death-infested air issuing therefrom.
On the same day he vacated the woe-provoking room and removed to Monruje .

The Death of Totem

He was sitting in one of the Parisian cafes when he learned about the news of his father’s death. At first he could not even get to the core of this event. The only thing he felt was the sense of betrayal committed towards his father. He had finally disassociated himself from his visions retaining nothing from him. He had relinquished even his surname, signing the paintings by the surname of his mother.
He thought staying in the café would cure him of pains, but anguish kept swelling, making him feel worse.
The café was being emptied. He was sitting at the table staring vacantly at the eternal darkness hanging outside the windows.
To the funeral he did not go.

Denticulated Vagina

The midnight was long past, but the sleep kept away from his eyes. He stared at the shadow of his wife on the wall. The nude beauty lying beside him without covering had her legs unfolded widely and her mouth gaping open.
“Predatory sorceress!” – he thought to himself with his memory hovering over the first minutes of his acquaintance with the Sergey Diagilev’s ballet troupe on a tour in Rome. He fell in love at the first sight with the timid and bashful Ukrainian dancer. The daughter of the colonel Khokhlov of the army of the Russian Tsar was ten years his junior. He let his amazement show when he heard Olga circling in the bohemian world of the theatre kept her virginity under strict guard. He took a special pride in being the first man in the life of this young chaste maiden.
He took her to Barcelona to introduce her to his mother. Dona Maria, like a clairvoyant, was immediately insightful of the strict and crotchety character of the intending daughter-in-law, predicting them unlucky marriage.
“He belongs only to himself and obeys no one” – mother said to her future daughter-in-law, alluding to Pablo with these words, but it was already impossible to cause any split-up between them. Olga had etched a magical imprint on him.
“Rabid vampire. I did not think even her innocent kiss would turn into a poisonous bite” – he thought convinced peremptorily of the deceptive nature of the matrimonial love. Sooner or later the woman assumes the face of a blood-sucking monster and becomes the empress of brutal being under the roof of the family.
The shadow of his wife had gaped the mouth wide wherefrom the sharp elongated teeth were protruding. The cannibal vagina too had cultivated its own teeth. The oral-vaginal aggression of the seducer was turning to dust and ashes the delicate vision of the artist. The all-embracing blood-smeared cavity was dragging him frantically to his bosom.
The woman-executor had drained dry the source of inspiration, scorching his life-giving nerve and leaving him thus: disemboweled, blinded and paralyzed.
“Love?! It is but a snare made instinct-wise, foul sensitivity and unflinching lust of the befuddled after the vagina bristling with teeth.”

Despaired Nudity

He thought it was the bull, rather than the matador, that epitomized in itself the feelings concealed underneath the outgoing consciousness. He was glaring at the bull brought out to the arena for the entertainment of people and felt as if he were getting undressed for all to gaze.
Art is exhibitionism, the despaired nudity of the doomed bull brought to the proscenium of the corrida. His fate is in the hands of the omnipotent matador. The ambitious masterly matador deceives easily with red colour the instinct-guided and restive bull.
The world made weakness by the red-hot sun goes obediently to the shambles of offering sacrifice.

Valkiria

One ordinary rainy day of January, quite by chance, he came across a seventeen-year-old Maria-Teresa before the Gallery-Lafayette shop.
“We both shall do a lot of impressive things together!””–He said to the innocent young woman and took her to his studio the threshold of which had never been crossed by anyone before.
The woman drew the curtain aside to feel the magical air of the bohemian life sweep against her face. In the thrall of the bull’s rabid glare, she became absorbedly infatuated with him never to be healed of this infatuation again.
She became his slave-model and ended her days by suicidal upon his death.

Minotavre

He would not describe the cruelty of compassionless love as insanity. Merciless fate was above his will. It pursued him like a heartless chimera cutting down with its scythe everyone he had met along the way of his life. He had engaged his affection upon many, but sooner or later he destroyed them all. Women came and went as if they were to offer up their lives to the sacrifice idol.
He was sitting in one of the cafes of Sent Germen when a woman from the opposite table glared at him her wide green eyes discerning in his stare strained strings of the soul. The woman confronted his stubborn gaze unmannerly. He felt the sudden blitz of the suppressed power, the fetus of new life stirring in him and the throbbing of the young blood.
The appearance of Dona Maari was meant to cast a damp on the spiritual suffering inflicted upon him by Olga who was jealous of Maria Teresa. It was not a mere whim symptomatic of the artists’ bohemian world, neither was it a frivolous lust. The cause was the thirst for liberation and the desire to be eased of the deadweight of infidelity towards the beloved woman having born him the first child and admitting him the feeling of parenthood.
He was so overwhelmed by the desire to break free from the jealous wife on the one hand, and from the mistress on the other, who was already giving him a pain in the back, that he left Paris in a few days and set off to Mujen together with Dora.
The affinity with the surrealists had made Dora a fanatical captive of the irrational. From her bifid spiritual world sparks of insanity often shone through. She was devoted to art as well, but she understood it early she would never make an artist and turned her hand to photography.
The destiny-executor had put out again its deadly claws. Dora was poisoned by the unmerciful minotavre. She was now drifting to the hell of insanity likes an impetuous rider. She too, was doomed to death. She too, was to be crushed and brought as a sacrifice to the heartless idol. The all-encompassing minotavre had torn the protective mask off her face laying bare the bifurcated spiritual world of the woman. With the removal of the mask the stringy and shapeless substance broke up even further, and the disintegrated parts dispersed chaotically in the broad expanse of the space.

A Weeping Woman

Quiet had settled down upon the desolate valley in the outskirts of Muneje. There was no breath of fresh air in the fierce heat. The peaceful surroundings continued to drowse on.
He caught his breath while watching the captivating nudity of Dora having flung herself on the sand.
Dora was staring pensively at the space submerged in the spellbinding silence. Her eyes gave away a boundless grief. Incurable anguish had beset her heart. In times of loneliness and despair she liked to abandon herself in this place. Detached from the worldly vanity, she tried to pacify her thirst for loneliness in the void of this area.
There was no fragment of cloud visible in the sky. The bare valley seemed muted and hushed.
Suddenly the sound of crying was wafted to his ears. He was about to rise to observe the area from close but then refrained from doing so. He did not want to intrude upon the privacy of the woman and decided to let her give vent to her feelings to the full.
Dora was weeping on the top of her voice. Her eyes on her livid face were blazing with anguish. Her movement betrayed the constriction of every muscle. She seemed to be teetering on the edge of the gaping abyss basking in her suffering and fear not to lose the equilibrium.
The merciless executor felt no pity for her. He found the distorted from fury face even more attractive. He was staring in a restrained manner the rabid fury of the beloved woman. He let his brow knit neither at her pitiful wailing. Her wail of grief had infused him with a wildly salacious excitement. He was listening dismayed to the frantic voice. But even from this dismay he was deriving sweet enjoyment, reminiscent of some long-forgotten passion now floating up to the surface.
Dora was screaming incessantly, laying bare the innermost layers of her soul and letting the unutterable disgust towards man blaze out of her. The rivers of tears never to run dry had cracked her face and grooves were made on it. The ceaseless stream of tears spewed from her extinguished eyes. The haggard body had rotted away. The riddled scull had decayed into pieces and worm-eaten eyes had fallen out of their sockets. The enormous tongue sticking out of the mouth had converted into a sharp-edged dagger. The teeth had lined up in a trellis of pointed nails waiting infuriated for the blood of the executor. But she could not afford the death of the executor of satanic genius. The pointed nails were chained and the sharp-edged teeth slaked the thirst for blood.
Dora too, had failed to tame the minotavre. She could no more endure the demon’s hacking of her soul into dribs and drabs. She escaped from the death-bearing claws, and gutted and distraught found her final resting place in a lunatic asylum. The elements scattered chaotically in the unbearable space refused to fuse. She disappeared into thin air and became extinct as if she had never come to this world.

Spain. The Thirst for Blood

There was a matador lying on the corrida. A bull had torn open his stomach with sharp-edged horns letting his intestines stand out. The bull was staring at his victim infuriated, butting about in a frenzy of rage.
The body was torn apart. The vermilion blood gushed from the veins. The bull drank rapaciously the tasty liquid.
The exhilarated crowd was shaken and made dizzy at the sight of the bloody scene. The stringy smell titillated the sense of smell become acute and bedimmed it beatifically.
The crowd bewildered by the sight of blood was swinging wildly from side to side. The ground had given way under their feet, causing them to loiter unbalanced in the space.
The blood had bedraggled the green surface of the earth. The crowd burst into a horrible wailing smashing through the barriers and storming down the way to gobble up the sweet drops of blood.

The Death of a Fish

It was a quiet and warm summer evening in Antibes. After the fierce heat it had got slightly cooler. The full moon of August was pouring down yellowish rays upon the area. The Mediterranean Sea beach was swarming with large groups of people.
There was a portent of war in the north, in the middle of Europe. Many had escaped the irksome fear deciding to have a rest in the south of France.
Dora and Jacqueline were standing on the beach watching the fishermen.
– Fish are not biting for more than an hour – said the fisherman.
-What should you do? Asked Jacqueline.
-Nothing, but wait. I hope this lamplight will seduce them.
-They are attracted by the light, which exhausts them soon and makes them swim like the blind – said another fisherman.
-Let’s see. – Said Dora
-Why not, – said the first fisherman. He could not tear his eyes away from the women. Jacqueline, having caught his provoking glance, turned aside and directed her glance at the insects floating all around the water, alluring to the lamplight and dying there.
The fisherman rose and reached the other end of the boat. His eagle eye swept the violet water rippling at the light.
Dora was sitting silent on the bicycle eating the ice cream in a manner, which resembled a bee’s sucking the nectar from the pistils of flowers.
The fisherman saw a light-blinded fish jumping up and slide across the slippery surface of the water. He took a pointed harpoon and wedged it into the marked place, then he looked into the depth of the sea to see he had driven the harpoon straight into the victim.
– What a weight, – said the fisherman, gripping the harpoon with both hands, turning around like a predatory and dragging from the water an enormous fish.
– Isn’t it fine?
– It is a duck – said another fisherman.
– It is still alive.
The fish spiked on the harpoon was dripping with vermilion blood. It was unhooked and disemboweled with a sharp knife, then cut into thin pieces and laid out on a board.
On the following day the whole city was abuzz over the news of the invasion of Poland and the start of the Second World War.

A Glittering Candle

The tolls of Santa Maria tolled incessantly. The old priest had mounted the bell tower and was now sounding the death-knell for all to hear. The messengers of hell were winging their way forward. Making a circle in the sky they started raining the bombs upon the area. A rough grumbling thunder broke out.
A piercing sound of the downfall of bombs was clinging with a satanic cachinnation. The fire had kindled the surface of the earth. The sharp-pointed spurts of flame were rushing up steeply to the sky. The hellish darkness had cast over the smoke-stifled world.
The dilapidated walls kept falling bearing down the doomed inhabitants. The flaming houses kept ablaze, so did the corpses stuck within the walls.
The air had started to fume. The pernicious smell was permeating throughout the gutted area. The bombardment became even more frequent and dense. The disastrous venom of iron spewed bounding from the mouth of the flying Satan. The ground was cracked.
The black bile was swelling upon the town. The nightmarish darkness had fallen over the razed to the earth area. The mysterious moon had dressed itself up in a robe of filthy smoke. The raped sky had hushed itself up.
The priest gave a glance around Gernika having turned to dust and ashes. There was not a soul within sight, nor a sign of life was visible. The ruins were littered with disfigured corpses. The destructive bomb had dissevered the body of the newborn child scattering its fragments around in disarray. The walls had retained the still warm drops of the blood.
Demented at the barbaric cruelty of the demons, the priest grasped the bells again and made them clang.
The silence of the cemetery infested with unattended corpses was punctured. The thundering clang of the bells gathered up momentum, breaking the seeming silence. The ever-growing peal of the bells now sounded like an appealing hymn.
Suddenly the priest noticed a branch-shattered tree on the saturnine valley. It had erected itself in the domain of Satan sealed with vice as a candle unsnuffed and unextinguished.
The bells tolled now like prayers and the tree stood as the only relic illuminating the decaying and uncared-for dungeon.

Gernika

The saturnine dusk started from the four corners of the world. Beating its wings against the whitish space, it charmed the immaculate whiteness like a sorcerer and smothered it with soot.
The tar-black long plaits of the seductive Satan are flying up hill and down dale of the world. The tousled hair is winging its way carrying away the virgin soul of this world.
The white horse enveloped in black mist is galloping along, bristling up its mane in a frenzy of chagrin, scanning the light-devoid horizon. Impenetrable darkness has spread itself from one edge of the world to the other. Wide watery eyes of the horse discern a sombre colour dancing in an eccentric way. Can it be the sudden solar eclipse?! The heart misses a beat, the horse wants desperately to break free from this asphyxiating space but its hopeless neighing remains totally unresponsive. Silence has reigned over the world choking in a black smoke. The white horse is gradually suffused with the soot. The ever-growing blackness swallows it up. The space shining white evaporates and the horse too, goes up in smoke and disappears.
A woman poisoned with stifling air follows the hopeless neighing of the horse. She is dragging her wounded and swollen legs now having become lead-heavy through running. “Oh my God, let these legs be torn off me, please, I’m dying in these dungeons. I can’t see anything; I’ve lost my bearing and try vainly, with my groping hands, to find you. I’ve never felt your absence so acutely. Is it the doom’s day? Can it be that you are leading me to the nether world? Then be done with me now, immediately, and please, don’t let me run so!”
Satan seduced the man, wrapping his magical hair around him, befuddling him in a constraining embrace, putting a sucker into his blood and sucking it up, then throwing him away like a blood-drained skeleton. Gobbling up his watery eyes Satan dipped up the sweet liquid of the eye crystal and having slaked the thirst for malevolence, smashed the dried-up eyes against the scull. At the threshold of the hell there lay the dumb corpse of the man cut up into pieces. He seemed to have detached himself from the deafening howl of the last Mohicans left in the nether world.
The demon strangled the breathing of the baby sticking to its mother’s breast. The maddened with grief mother let drop the warm body of her child. Her eyes burst into tears. The constant damp extinguished the sight in them. Now the eyes were but sections dripping wet.
The bellowing of the apocalyptic bull deafened the area. The world collapsed. Nothing was left under the canopy of the sky darkened with malice.
The horizon afforded the sight of only one miraculously intact tree, illuminating as a beacon the darkness having fallen like a canopy over the deserted and desolate earth.
God looked over his parish from the depth of the sky, gleaming a gigantic, sun-like eye at the plague-spotted groom. The know-all eye of the Lord was hung like a luminary in the Satan-darkened sky.

Paloma

He was standing at the white-flaked wall of the maternity hospital listening to the screaming of a newborn baby. He had spent the whole night in the corridor and now his eyes were being assaulted by the queer whiteness. The floor too was covered with a white carpet.
“Originally, all is white, peaceful and bright, then dust gathers and forms on everything and you get accustomed to it, as if nothing has ever been white”, – he thought.
– Would you like to have a look at her? –Asked Françoise. Her face had acquired a sallow complexion.
– I don’t know why I feel so nervous – he said, – maybe because I did not sleep last night.
The newborn was pressing against her mother’s breast. The sharp light was casting a mellow glint on her milk-coloured face. He suddenly remembered the Malaga pigeons and was awakened again to the suppressed dolor. The sight of the white stuffed pigeons scattered in disorder throughout the studio came up before his eyes. The pigeons in the father’s hands came out best of all. Then he remembered the stuffed birds stolen prior to his going to the kinder-garden.
“I wish I could get rid of this haunting sense of guiltiness”- he said and the torture, which had become to him a continuing fact of crucifixion floated up to the surface again.
The sight of his newborn child in the white-bathed room of the maternity hospital swelled his heart with gratitude towards his father. After the roaming throughout the mysterious meanders, he was suddenly swept away by the abundance of the desire to go back to the white pigeons.
– What the matter with you? – Asked Françoise.
– I want to name the baby Paloma. – He said after a little pause, – what do you think of it?
– Paloma? It means something in Spanish, doesn’t it?
– Pigeon.
– Wonderful!
Shifting his glance to little Paloma and seeing a familiar and cherished smile on her tiny lips, he was conscious again of his father approaching.

Approach

“I have come to you father, your son the matador. There is a ray less gloom around. Watching you from this hellish darkness, I don’t know how you may accept me. I want so to stave off the stigma of guilt. I want to return you the light and paintbrushes.
The wind is rustling around here. I don’t know where the torrential rain and the raging storm may fling me. It is hazardous to skim across the edge of the precipitous abysses.
I feel I’ve torn myself away from the earth. I am no longer being pulled to the warm earth, hanging in the air insensibly. I am so wistful about walking on the earth. Give me a hand. What if you can bring me back.
I’ve been adrift and aimless in this depressive emptiness. I’ve lost peace and joy since I parted with you. I have become a jester poking fun at everything in the hope that he will never be made answerable for what he does and will be forgiven for everything.
It is icy cold here. The exhaled air turns into icicles. There is a total absence of the centre in order for me to place a candle on it and illuminate the frozen darkness. The world is split up and broken into fragments.
Give me a hand. I want to return you what I have robbed you of. Let me come back from the tortuous mazes. Let me come home. I’m so missing our roof, our cozy house.”

Las Meninas

He remembered his first visit to the Prado museum. He had just completed his first year of the Barcelona school of design when his father took him to Madrid to show him Meninas by Velasquez.
The skeptic look of this royal artist was still fresh in his memory. He looked on everything as beneath himself: the king and the queen, the whole world and even his talent, which brought him closer to the royal family. Pablo was standing beside his father in the wide hall of the museum with his eyes fastened on the canvas hanging on the wall.
It was then he first observed the resemblance between his father and Velasquez. Strong features of Velasquez caught his eyes. The painting was placed in the glass-glazed frame and when he looked at his father’s reflection beside the head of Velasquez, his heart was squeezed with pity. Father’s face had such a weary distinction. He understood at once the reason of his failure beholding in him the imperfect attitude towards art.

Nicolasito the Jester

It was midnight. The weak blinking moonlight issuing from the tall windows were pressing into the room with a struggle. He was trying to dress up the impression he had received from Meninas 62 years ago in a coat of a painting.
He was staring with sleepless and fatigued eyes at his own version of Meninas with his conscious rankling painfully in the depth of his soul. Thanks to his characteristic ambiguous brushwork, he had made his father’s favourite painting even more obscure and vague. The new form of art to which he had himself laid the groundwork, and which had gained him a great myriad of followers was nothing to him now but a brutal suffering.
He could not overcome in himself the disgust at this path. He felt he was a prodigal son, walker along the untrodden and tortuous paths, who had denied himself eternally his cozy home launched into the never-ending wandering – homeless and aimless.
He was suddenly attacked by sneaking suspicions. Even in the first years of the cubist period he was never as doubtful about the perfection of his talent as he was now.
“How can you call this nonsense an accomplished work of art?! Who can comprehend its real essence? Things are not like themselves. These distorted and disfigured faces are rather fatuous stains and blotches”.
His father’s hope that the introduction of Velasquez would influence the young painter to some extent proved to be futile. He seemed to know it in advance that the prodigal son would not spare even him and sooner or later would destroy him.
Let the mystical prediction come true. Father renounced the art, letting the path to his son. But the heartless son seemed to be obsessed with trampling under his feet the art which was a holy of holies to his father, trying to torture him by making him ascend the way to the sacrificial scaffold many a times.
The abjection from his father was like an unhealed wound to him. He was morbidly concerned about the committed sin, trying to expiate his guilt. Then he gave an unusual colouring to the impression he had received from the Prado walls in the days of infancy. He gave Velasquez the face of his father raising the ever-failing father to the level of the accomplished painter of his days. He felt his sinful soul was absolved with this, as if he had returned to his father his paintbrush, paints and the life-giving art.
Against the gigantic background of his father he had made himself look like a dwarf in the guise of the royal jester called Nicolasito.

The unknown

He was returning home from the personal exhibition. Recognition had weighed heavily upon him. At this height of glory, he was unable to put up with the intoxicating perception of altitude. The dedication cultivated in him since the days of infancy had made him a restless seeker after the new forms. Thanks to a certain manner of painting he had conceived, he was now a favourite painter of the whole generation.
He turned the key and opened the door. An iron plate imprinted on the door by an unknown goldsmith caught his eye.
“He must have chased it without any agonizing thought”, he said.

Lie

He was standing before the mirror staring at his lined face. Then he let his hand run through the grizzly and rarified hair. The years had passed in the twinkling of an eye. He became suddenly reflective over the vanity of the world.
“This seeming truth too, is a lie” –he thought. There is no sense in seeking the truth endlessly”.
To evade a suppressing glance of the old age from the mirror, he shifted his stare to his self-portrait on the easel.
“If the truth is a lie, then the lie of the art is the truth “, he said and from then on he never looked into the mirror again.

Infantile Imagination

He went to the exhibition of children’s pictures relishing the sight of natural freshness for a long time. In their age he too, could paint like Rafael, though he thought the paintings exhibited there were above Rafael himself.
“It takes the longevity of life to be able to paint so” – he said staring at the small artists pottering about the exhibition hall.

Return

It was in the downhill of his life he got to know and appreciate the value of evanescent time. He was infused with the fear that he would never be able to exhaust his illimitable aspiration.
He could not stay in Paris wishing desperately to be alone. The abundance of his fantasy could be relieved only away from this world.
He abandoned himself in a huge palace erected on the green knoll of California, near Cannes. It was as if he had come here to cast his final anchor. From Grand-Ogusten and Valorous he had taken everything he had got used to and never parted with in the course of his life.
The sight of the blue sea warmed with the blazing sun infused him with joy, reminding him of the careless childhood spent in Malaga. The house on the beach opened up before him the view of the Mediterranean Sea, giving an impetus to his inspiration. Watching the boundless expanse, he dived into the never-ending eternity and was rejoicing in the delight of the primeval peace.
Like one having just escaped from the dungeon, he was possessed of a blaze of desire after creation. Visionary temptations gave him no rest. With his imagination-riddled mind he had secluded himself in the tower embarking on embodying his timeless phantasms.

White Pigeon

The room was cluttered up with paints and a head-broken lamp. The floor was littered with faded flowers from the fallen vase.
He was lying dressed, watching the half-lit hall. He had been haunted by his father’s ghost for several days already. The life seemed to have got back on itself bringing back to him the warm sea of Malaga and his days of infancy when he used to steal his father’s paints and stuffed pigeons. Everything had changed its colouring. The world now appeared to him as innocent as before, the white pigeons – as clean and spotless.
Suddenly he heard some indefinable sound. He strained his ear. The noise recurred. He rose from the bed and gave a glance around the room. Though having caught his breath, he could not still make out wherefrom this sound was issuing.
The tall windows made a squeaking noise. Then he heard a swishing sound of curtains. Suddenly an unknown bird broke into the room and began to fly at the height of the arched curtains, then, as if beholding what it had been seeking for, he approached the newly-finished painting on the easel and landed upon the back of the opposite chair.
Not to shoo it away, he plucked up his courage and rested his head upon the head of the bed, staring motionless at the uninvited guest of extraordinary beauty.
The weak moonlight identified it as being a white pigeon. He thought his eyes were belying him, thinking it to be a hallucination. He directed his glance at it again. The light in the room was feeble but his eye was getting accustomed to it. Soon he was thoroughly conquered by the uniqueness of the pigeon’s white colour.
He was overwhelmed by the desire of watching it and had to strain his eyes. The pigeon kept its beady eyes wide open staring ossified at the painting. Its quivering beak seemed to emit a whispering noise.
The sight of the pigeon had shaken him to the marrow of his bone. He was submerged again into the memories of his childhood, his mind envisioning the house in Malaga and the white pigeons toddling in front of it. He did not even notice the disappearance of the pigeon.
He heart sank. Springing up from the bed, he went up to the easel, but the pigeon had vanished without trace.
He was standing astounded, unable to fathom the reason of the sudden appearance and disappearance of the pigeon.

Repentance

He ran down the marble stairs and went onto the terrace via a long corridor. The moon had assumed a look of innocence and kept on swinging in the violet sky, pouring down the abundance of silver rays upon the palms and mimosas.
He was standing under the quiet, dome-like sky as a sinful son of the universe, scanning the surroundings with repentant eyes. The unusual mystery of the nature contained a streak of the virginal and immaculate. Only the dull dashing of the sea waves was being wafted from afar. In such minutes it was from the contemplation of the limitless stretch of the inoffensive sea he derived relief. The vicinity of the boundless sea admitted him to the sensation of eternity.
Exhausted with intruding thoughts he suddenly felt his heart ease. As he was being distracted by the contemplation of the boundless expanse, he noticed a black shadow decouple from the enormous cypress tree. He could not believe his eyes. The ghost pursued its progress on tiptoes running his eye around the statues lining up the path cross-wise. Hatred and chagrin had etched into every line of his face and his eyebrows were frowned at the sight of the artificially distorted sculptures. His infuriated eyes could not hide the hatred. Then he shrugged his arms, bent his eyes and turned his back to the statues.
Suddenly he was confronted by his father’s ghost staring at him with vacated, all-devoid eyes. He was standing so close Pablo could feel his breathing. Irresistible fear and a sense of guilt turned him into a chained-up slave. He could not budge an inch. The reverence to his father and a sense of shame made him evade his father’s suppressing glance. He felt the hammer knocking in his temples. It was the dreadfully sorrowful eyes of his father that surprised him most of all. He was staring pitifully at his father’s wide, anguish-blurred eyes, which said al lot of his spiritual impotence.
His eyes were full of forgiveness, disposed to absolve his prodigal son, to give him everything he possessed. This forgiving glance chained his tongue. It was his father who was his benefactor, capable to give him back his spiritual tranquility.
A sudden blitz of the old pain, having haunted him for a long time, flared up again. The coagulated bile of anguish made a groove, overflowed its banks and burst out. The dumb ghost of his father had struck him as a lightning. He was imbued with the feeling of repentance. He knelt before his father but could not stand a bewitching glance of the sombre ghost. He buried his head into his arms feeling a cold sweat running down his limbs. Then he forced himself to remove his hands off his face and an influx of surprise chained him: father’s ghost had disappeared.
He was in a foul mood and his head was burning. Trying to penetrate beneath the essence of the mystery-drenched night, he could not decide whether the mysterious hallucination of the exhausted brain was a phantom or a reality.
The onshore wind started to blow. He inhaled the air heavy with the breath of the blooming mimosas. The day was about to break, but he could not get a wink of sleep.
He walked for a long time in the moonlit garden and at dawn went to the studio. The feverish desire of painting came over him afresh. He worked without a pause, pouring his spiritual anguish into the painting, thus deadening his pain.
The ghost of the inoffensive pigeon and his father kept a tenacious hold on his mind. He felt casting of the anchor in the Mediterranean Sea had enlivened even more the memory of Malaga. The view of the cloudy and cold La Corunio, his father’s boredom short of despair and the loss of the white pigeons came up before his eyes.
He painted on the canvas the burning sun of the Mediterranean Sea and the light of the blue sky in its blinding magnificence. The innocent pigeons were rustling about before the sun-glistened window. He was watching the unfinished painting, feeling unusual spiritual peace, as if he had returned to his father the sun, the sea, the paintbrushes and the white pigeons.

© Tengiz Verulava
ISBN 99928-0-220-0


Responses

  1. Thanks, good info.


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