Monday, January 26, 2009

What Do I Want MY Life To Look Like?

We've been engaged in an amazing conversation about what others want their life to look like [READ IT]... and I'm ready to present what I want my life to look like... ready... set... go...

In my fictional den, there are two paintings that depict my life.

The first, which hangs on the wall to the left of the fireplace, is a Norman Rockwell-like painting of a man riding a unicycle down a cobblestone street. He looks sharp: top hat, tuxedo jacket, pressed white shirt, blue jeans and thick, white socks, but no shoes. He has one hand at his side and one on his chin in contemplation, an eyebrow raised. Above him, the sky remains in motion, shifting from day to night and through all four seasons. On the sidewalk of the street, from right to left, stand twin children, who look identical, a worn-out palooka and a gaggle of lookie-loo revelers crowding the window of a bar. The twins are a brother and sister holding hands and smiling at the passing man, while the revelers spill forth from the window while doing the same with their drinks. Between them, the tired prizefighter slumps with his head between his shoulders, laces of his gloves undone, shirtless, sweaty and tired of his trade.

On the right side of the fireplace hangs a Dali-esque oil painting of a pint of Guinness beer. Yet, the beer is not contained by glass, it is walled in by red brick. Spying eyes from the outside, trying to see the spectacle, live in dark spaces where the bricks have been chiseled away. In the liquid of the beer, there swims a harnessed fly, wings beating furiously in the dissipating foam, pulling a one-eyed brain. The fly has been captured by the intoxication of the liquid, but the brain is trapped by its broken wings and cannot leave the alcoholic prison. A brain-riding cowboy is saddled behind the eye, one hand on the saddle and the other holding a looking glass. Towed by the brain is a banner that reads, “VINO IST VERITAS.” The fly-brain-banner parade float endlessly circles the dark liquid forming the aforementioned cloverleaf pattern.

Between the two pictures is the masonry and heat of a fireplace. It‘s built from the local land with an oaken mantelpiece that supports trinkets from the past and a large mirror. The frame of the mirror is a rustic metal that has collected the wisdom from many years of overlooked dust. If you look into the mirror, you’ll find a woman basking in the warmth of the blaze, reading a book and sipping from a glass of red wine. Her resting place is that of a worn, brown leather love seat that has soaked up the caress of many conversations in its lifetime. Her own antique bicycle leans up against the bookcase behind her. She just so happened to finish her day before mine; some days the lighting of the fire falls on my shoulders and most days we're out on an adventure together. On her face, she wears the look of content, knowing that her man will soon ride home, collapse to the crunch of worn leather, latch onto her smile and begin an evening of conversation that will take them to unknowable destinations.

There are days when I have to entertain the masses by pleasing all of those that have expectations of me. If I had to commit myself entirely to their whims, the extroversion would ultimately wear me out. On other days, I must find the time to recharge, to let my mind loose so that it can push the limits of thought, strange and rational. Though my nomadic soul loves to wonder, it always wants to come home to the love found in the heat of a warm fire.

The look of my life.


Anonymous said...

Very evocative image, with the two paintings and the awaiting soul figure. I wonder how the meaning of the two paintings can be tied to the fact that the man remains away, off somewhere else...just pondering since you invited me into your lush imagery. So it seems then you want it to look like this: she's content waiting.

Robert Zamees said...

As you were writing your comment, I was also thinking that the imagery shows that she's home waiting... when, in reality, I'd rather that she just happened, on this night, to get home more quickly than I. If the roles were reversed, then I'd have started the fire, opened the wine, warmed up the couch and cozied up the den for us.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Very specific. Nicely done. Lovely.
I'm still pondering...and coming up with new and different descriptions every hour.
*Rainbow Girl*

Robert Zamees said...

I've always wanted to walk side-by-side with a loving partner... the realization that there will be days when she needs to lead, I need to be led or I need to lead... but most days, we tackle things together.

Robert Zamees said...

You go, RainBOW!

Anonymous said...

That reminds of something I read awhile back and now cannot find. A woman was saying her ideal relationship is one in which the leaning was shared...knowing there would be times he would need to lean on her, times she would need to lean on him. Days she needed him to lean on her and days he needed her to lean on him...and all the other times, just leaning on each other. It was lovely and very well written and now I'm kicking myself for not saving it.

Robert Zamees said...

Yes, that is exactly how I feel! You nailed it, Rainbow!

Color [Me] Happy said...

My life is just the way I made it: good!

When reflecting about what I want my life to look like, I would have to break it down into years. What do I want it to look like it 5, 10 15 years from now.
Well my friend, those answers are different in a most wonderful way.
When you realize that this is your life and that you own it + are responsible for it, it just makes sense.

Tess said...

I want my life to look like a Jackson Pollock painting.

Sometimes chaotic and intense, but always full of passion.

Sometimes colorful and bright, sometimes without color, but always with the same energy.

Sometimes feeling aimless and unsure about where it's going, but always heading in a direction that ends with an expressive masterpiece.

Pollock has said when he paints, he doesn't know what it will look like when he's done. But when he's done he's done. That sounds pretty good to me. Living life to its fullest, and then when it's done, it's done.

I want to fill my canvas. I hope others will like what they see when I'm done... but if they don't then maybe they just didn't understand.

Anonymous said...

A quote I found today seems to sum it up nicely...

"I may still not know what I want to be when I grow up, but I do know that someday I want to live in a house filled with my books and travel souvenirs. And the walls that aren't covered in bookshelves will be covered with photos of my family and friends. When I leave the house I will be going to a job I love, and I'll return to a person I love. So, that's the dream I'm working on." - Amber Morley

Nice, eh?

Robert Zamees said...

Hmmm, I'm not sure how I feel about that last answer... it must be because I spent a day talking about the world compared to America and the quote is a very American ideal... in that it's self-centered.

Anonymous said...

Understand your point and agree...then again, the title of your post was "What do I want MY life to look like?".

Robert Zamees said...

So very true... and so very hard to remember that I did say "my" life when I've come to believe that in order to do more good in the world, and really make a difference, we have to be less self-centered.

In fact, I should probably look at how I want MY life to look again with these glasses on.