Thank You for Noisy Loneliness and Quiet Company

There are conversationalists that can make one feel lonelier than wandering through the Sahara or being stranded in the Arctic.

I had a conversation with a fellow artist yesterday who stopped by my studio to “visit”. (She has a studio in the same building.)

She paints Portraits. I paint Abstracts.

She thinks in Portraits. I think in Abstracts.

She is Catholic. I am…Not.

Anyone studying the History of Religion or Art History  will surely discover the correlation between these two factors weaving into the tapestry of our culture.

By the time my fellow artist finished her coffee, her diatribe, and her desperate attempt to save me from my liberal evils, I felt as though her God was stealing everything in my studio and trying to pawn it at Cougar and Dark’s Pandemonium Circus while I became the Something Wicked This Way Comes. [Ray Bradbury]

Her condescending responses to my queery about why she believed in her beliefs relegated me to the banished-from-the-tribe, unknower of the “Facts about God”.

There was no way to penetrate the whispering thunder of her beliefs, to uncover her own identity and possibly share a moment of human understanding and connection.

I felt lonely. 

I went to the large canvas I had been working on prior to her visit. It was a work in progress of a scenario depicting a group of musicians on a sidewalk in front of a coffee house playing together and sharing voices in unison.

The painting  was inspired by an experience I had participated in last week.

I took  my brush, dipped it in red and painted DO NOT ENTER over the canvas.

Another artist dropped by to give me a CD of his music. (He was one of the musicians I sang with in the painting inspiration.)

He sat in a chair across the room and sketched silently while God repainted the canvas again.


~ by leakelley on August 21, 2008.

3 Responses to “Thank You for Noisy Loneliness and Quiet Company”

  1. You write, “She thinks in portraits.” That’s correct, but not just any portraits, or even portraits of the living. Rather, they are portraits of dead persons, all of whom had only one purpose in life, which was to be holier than anyone else. The compulsion to be sainted has a very ugly side, & while such people live the only people who admire them are fellow sufferers of the same compulsion. To those of us able to love one another as we are rather than as we are told we should be by golden robed priests in wondrous premises passing plates to us & the poor which we & the poor are told we must fill with money or go to Hell, the compulsion to be sainted is the real 666 that stalks us.

  2. I so understand…I was raised in such an environment and was like that myself for many years. Now I wonder if I was trying to save others or talking to convince myself that my beliefs were really “the truth”…of course, I am FREE now. 🙂 I pity her, but each to his/her own journey right.

    I loved your ending in this post…absolutely loved it!! Yes, God repainted it! 🙂

  3. i am a Roman Catholic. But I always remember to respect other religion. it’s a choice. it’s a stand. what is important is how we live our lives, whether we are Catholics or not.

    i love your post. it happens to me sometimes. and i do some dodging techniques just to get away from conversations that are not rewarding.:)

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