Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Wonderful Death Before Dinner

Every night we gather around the dinner table and enjoy the food our domestic goddess has prepared for us. Whatever the entrée, cheeseburgers with hand cut fries or Milenasa with Ensalada Rosa, we give thanks.  Then out of nowhere death comes. My son grabs his throat and does a wonderful death spin, looks around to make sure his sisters are watching, then takes his last gasp of air and falls lifeless on the kitchen floor. We chuckle and roll our eyes. It is a wonderful little performance. He lies there for a few minutes then we remind him his food is getting cold. After the third death scene, we have to exercise our parental responsibilities and tell him to stay seated and finish his dinner.

The best part of the dramatic play is that there is limited seating and a select audience. The dramatic scene is never played out in public or with guests. This got me thinking. When is it ok to entertain ideas, appease a few and have the freedom to express and do something unusual? I call it studio time. This is where I succeed and live while at other times it is a death spiral into a nasty mess. Nobody is around to see the performance; maybe I’ll invite a select few to the disaster scene. Occasionally a visitor will turn around a painting facing the wall to catch a glimpse of the dying. But mostly they lay around the studio. Every once in a while they get a look and I think I could revive them. This all happens without an audience. The silliness, the entertaining thoughts and freedom are played out in the privacy of my studio.

Maybe my son will be on Broadway. Maybe my paintings will appear in a gallery. The fun happens before dinner and the show. Ok now I have to go put my pants on and start painting. 


  1. "When is it ok to entertain ideas, appease a few and have the freedom to express and do something unusual?"

    I think that's the definition of folk art. Art made for each other and ourselves. Definitely something worth encouraging. Horace Pippin would be pleased. Maybe he can be raised from his own death performance to attend the Crit-mas Party.

  2. @ Michael - Thanks. i'll put Horace on the list. ;)