“I’m a little purple person,” it whispered in my ear. “I run and frolick and think of the many ways I can return to you. It’s just a matter of getting to you.” It takes ten huge steps away from me, but since it’s so small it doesn’t get more then 3 inches from my face. It sits, crosses it’s legs, and faces me. “In between the spaces is space, my dear poet, it’s space to be filled with memories and love and if you even feel the need, hate.” The little purple person then lays down staring at my popcorn ceiling, and places two arms behind his head. “And if you must know, my dear poet, the space between my maddening choices is balance. Where the imagination runs wild because the madness isn’t present, but it was and it will be. Some call it peace, but I believe, my dear poet,” he faces me now, “it’s best left temporary. Because to grow we must change.” He goes silent and slowly closes his eyes. I study this tiny person. He must be no bigger than my thumb. I roll over and look at my popcorn ceiling. My eyes slowly close. That could be true, it could be true.
This summer I slowed down on a lot of my writing. Worked on the screenplay and some poetry here and there but mostly just backed off and you know what? I realized I have been working my booty off the past two years and not realizing it. And not appreciating my own best efforts. Not in a bragging type of way but in a way that made me realize This Is my best effort. And I feel like the artist Eyck reached through time and confirmed that for me.
Above the portrait painted on the frame which isn’t show here (but you can see it here) the words As I can or “Als Ich Can” written in Greek are painted on the frame. Now there are different ways that line has been interpreted. One is that it is simply a self portrait and he is playing on the pun Ich and his last name Eyck.
Another interesting idea is that as I can is coming from part of a motto that scribes would put at the end manuscripts that they have copied. They would write the entire motto “As I can not as I would.” Or in other words this is the best I can do, I wish I can do better. So he dropped I wish I could do better and just wrote As I can or This is the best I can do.
For some of us artists this is a profound realization. Coming to the place where you accept that you are doing your best work and having the ability to appreciate that. I think that this is a portrait of that moment for him. He found his niche his sweet spot. Makes me wonder if he ever looked at sculptures or mathematicians and thought man I wish I could be more them. But learned to find joy in the talents he excelled in. Oil paints, adding depth, and making sure to add the minute details made his work stand out from the rest even to this day. His works evoke feelings, thoughts, curiosity, and even with me his work confirmed that I need to accept my best efforts for my best efforts.
I go to the library daily to think because if I sit home all I want to do it sleep. So I pack my books and journals and laptop and drive myself to the library everyday. But the words are dwindling. Even so I find myself here with hopes that maybe the words will come in.