The pictures I haven’t painted yet…


 I had a dream, a vivid, spectacular dream. Though it faded in waking, I see them yet, dim figures in the mist along the boundaries of my mind…

…I am at an art gallery to pick up some paintings. I know I have work in this gallery but can’t recall which pieces or even how many are here. I ask the lady at the counter but she doesn’t know either. “Let’s go look,” she suggests.

She leads the way down a short flight of stairs and into the chamber of a great hall. Before us, rows of partitions rise toward a spectacular vaulted ceiling, creating a network of corridors through the expanse below. Along the length of each corridor, hundreds––thousands of paintings hang, filling the walls from ceiling to floor. As we pass corridor to corridor, I marvel at the magnificence of this place and the vastness of the collection within. Presently, my companion pauses and gesturing to a group of paintings on the wall, declares, “Ah, here they are. Yours?”

I look up and gasp. “Yes,” I nod in astonishment, “mine… but I haven’t painted these yet.”

Gripped by the immensity of the moment, I move from painting to painting, absorbing the effects of colour and form, of subject and style. I know I am in a dream. I trace the course of a brushstroke, a blend of hue, the transition of light and of shadow and shade. I know when I wake this will all disappear.

This one, yes this one, and this one and this. Remember, remember, I must remember this!

*                          *                           *

I had a dream––a vivid, spectacular dream. Though it has faded in waking and with each passing day, I see them yet. Their memory beckons, it begs me return, through the darkened corridors of that great hall to recover the pictures I haven’t painted yet.

Steve Gaebel London, ON

January 2015