Dream of: 27 June 2002 "Details In The Whiteness"

My sister, my mother and I were sitting in the front seat of a car; my sister (about 30 years old) was driving, I was sitting in the middle, and my mother (about 50 years old) was sitting by the passenger window.

Our conversation had turned to some of my paintings. I had been painting and displaying my paintings to the public for many years. The paintings were rather amateurish, almost on the line of paint-by-number affairs. However, the lavishness of the paintings as well as the tumultuous splashes of color had appealed to many people; I was quite satisfied with my work.

My sister, however, was far from pleased. At one time she had strenuously objected to the paintings and had insisted that I cease displaying them. Her shrill objections had resulted from her disapproval of her appearance in some of the paintings. She had expressed some concern that the paintings might portray parts of her history which she was trying to hide.

I was now trying to explain to my mother why I wouldn't acquiesce to my sister's objections. I explained that my sister was trying to hide the truth, whereas I needed to display the truth. I pointed to a transparent cellophane bag which was tied tightly shut and which was dangling from my sister's waist belt (the bag was perhaps twenty centimeters in diameter). I told my mother that my sister had her secrets tied up and hidden in this little bag and that my sister's intent was to continue to hide the truth in the bag. The idea of hiding the truth in such a manner seemed ludicrous to me; once again I tried to explain to my sister how invigorating the truth was, how stifled she must feel trying to hide the truth in her little cellophane bag.

My sister responded. She displayed such a sour look on her face; she never seemed to smile, always carrying around this pained expression. She said that I (referring to me) "used to be more aggressive."

She was obviously referring to a time in the distant past, referring to how I had once treated her, furtively referring to the exact subjects which she didn't want revealed in my paintings and which she was trying to hide in her cellophane bag. I immediately pointed out that she was making my point for me: I "used to be." I proceeded to explain that maybe the precise reason I wasn't as "aggressive" now was because I had displayed my paintings; by painting I had eliminated some of the aggression.

Obviously she wasn't persuaded by my arguments. Nevertheless, I definitely detected a slight shift in her attitude; at least we were talking about the subject. I seemed to sense her growing realization that she wouldn't be able to continue hiding the truth in her cellophane bag. I even seemed to sense – ever so slightly – a reluctant acceptance of my paintings.

I was finally let out at my home. I walked inside, picked up my most recent painting and held it in my hands. It was about one meter long and about a half meter high. Already framed, it was somehow different from all my previous paintings. The canvass was almost totally white. I began looking it over, trying to discern the details in the whiteness.

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Copyright 2012 by Steve Collier