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Thursday, October 17, 2013

What Art Can Do

Years ago, I bought a print for my parents' house that showed Don Quixote on horseback holding a spear and carrying a shield. With him is Sancho Panza. It's done in abstract and the original work was done by Pablo Picasso. You can see the print at All Posters if you're interested.

It's done in black and white, there's no color involved, but something about it grabbed me.

The funny thing is that while I've always liked the print, I didn't realize it was Don Quixote for a really, really long time. Call me slow, I know. It wasn't until I saw The Man From La Mancha while I was in New York for a Romance Writers of America conference in 2003 that I realized just who and what the print represented.

Suddenly, the print took on new meaning for me. Don Quixote, tilting at windmills, dreaming the Impossible Dream. No longer was it just an interesting drawing, now it had a story.

Maybe it's because I'm a writer. Maybe it's because I'm a dreamer. ::shrug:: But the story in The Man From La Mancha spoke to me.

When I moved, I asked my parents if I could take that print with me. I knew exactly where I wanted to put it in my new home. They let me and it's up right outside my bedroom. Sometimes I don't see it at all because of how familiar it is, but on other days, I walk past it and it speaks to me.

On different days it gives me different messages. Sometimes I remember the trip to New York and to Broadway to see the play. Sometimes I remember the conference and signing copies of Ravyn's Flight (now available in ebook!), the first time I ever autographed books. Sometimes I think about Don Quixote, living in his own world and making others strive to be better than they were. Like Aldonza (AKA Dulcinea). Sometimes I think of other aspects of the story.

The bottom line, though, is that this one piece of art can say so many things. Some of the associations are of my own making, but some come courtesy of Picasso and Miguel de Cervantes and that's pretty darn cool.