murmur, oil and wax on paper, 24"x30"
You Reading This, Be Ready
Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softned
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life -
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room , when you turn around?
One day, in my parents' attic, I found the first picture I ever painted: my first still life - painted from life, with my law books in it.
I was surprised to find in that canvas everything I've done since, and I couldn't see why I'd put in another ten years' work. Then, when I thought about it, I realized that what I'd seen in it was my own personality. But then again, I felt that, if I'd only ever painted that one painting, I'd never have spotted that personality because it would never have developed.
You're in everything you do, in your earliest pictures just as much as the last. But developing the personality that exists in the first canvas - that's what gives it a life in the outside world, just because it has developed. It already existed, but only as a single cell.
Henri Matisse, The Lost 1941 Interview