This is my favorite painting in the University of Kentucky Art Museum:
It’s titled, A Knight of Santiago and His Lady. It’s a Spanish painting, estimated to have been painted around 1610. The artist is unknown.
I greatly enjoy standing in front of it in the art museum. There’s something about looking at this piece of art, painted approximately 400 years ago. Mainly I’m curious about the artist and how he might feel to know that no one is quite sure of who he was. Obviously he was quite talented. I’m sure there’s speculation by art historians as to who he was. I’m certain there are those who could make a well informed, educated guess. Yet, no one knows for sure.
My kids are hyped about The Great Gatsby movie.
Like me thirty years ago, they were required to read it in school. While they didn’t necessarily fall in love with the story, for whatever reasons they’re quite excited about the movie. Maybe because it stars Leonardo DiCaprio. Plus they’re interested in the soundtrack. Anyway, here’s my thought… F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of Gatsby, died at 44 years old and the story goes he believed himself to be a failure at the time of his death. Did he have any idea his novel would be made and remade into movies for years to come? Was he inclined to think people would ponder Nick Carraway, Daisy and Tom Buchanan, and Jay Gatsby for years and years into the future?
We humans seem to want to be known. We want people to understand us and comprehend who we truly are. We want our successes recognized and our accomplishments brought forth. And most of us want this while we’re still alive.
I find myself struggling with this. Not because I want to be famous. But because I want to be understood. I want my motivations, attributes and good points brought out into the light. Maybe that’s pride. Lately I find myself wanting to care less though. I want to hide, diminish, just quietly go about my routine. Mainly because it seems like less of a struggle and if we all did it, a better way for the world to run.
It’s a trial I revisit constantly. I can’t seem to leave it behind. Perfectionism. Success. Where I believe I should be and what I believe I should be doing. What kind of wife…. What type of mother…. The daughter I should be and are my parents proud?
I think living in obscurity is somewhat mysterious. Those not close to us don’t know our motivations or who we truly are. This can cause speculation. Yet, wouldn’t it be great to simply not care? That’s what I long for. To live, work, be….without worrying about the final product. So much of life is about reporting numbers. How many people were in the program? How many of them saw significant life change? How much money did we spend/save/go over budget?
What if none of it matters because someday no one will remember us anyway? That’s a sad, hard truth, but a truth none the less.
I came across this today:
Good gosh! I hope to cling to that. There’s so much truth there.