Las Flores de Emilio (2017)
Acrylic on canvas
Merriam-Webster defines Recurring
During the last several months I have been having a recurring dream. There's truly no explanation as to why I've been having this dream. It's a strange dream in the sense that like a Geico commercial, it simply appears pretty much the same way every time. The dream seems to last maybe a few minutes if not seconds. The dream is in full vivid color.
The dream starts by hearing something sounding like a mystical hum. Then curtains open, and I find myself in a room. My attention goes straight to a medium-sized painting at the corner of the room. After about six or seven months I have seen enough of the painting that it is almost embedded into my memory.
During the same time period, I have been listening quite frequently to my favorite Puerto Rican rock band "Fiel a la Vega". They have a folk song called "Necesarios son los Sueños" (Necessary is to dream). The song describes the need to dream in order to live and to grow as person, as a human, a citizen.
Necesarios son los sueños
de oprimidos que salvar
de tiranos derrotados
de lograda libertad
sueños que vivan en la memoria
de generaciones por llegar
sueños que queden en nuestra historia
en nuestras mesas, en nuestro hogar
Necessary is to dream
Of the oppressed to be saved
Of the defeated tyrants
Of achieved freedom
Dreams that live in memory
Of generations to come
Dreams that remain in our history
At our tables, in our homes
So, on July 9th, without telling a soul, I made the decision to make this "dream" into a reality. I began the process of finding a canvas and applying gesso before making draft. It was somewhat of a celebratory day since had my father been alive, he would had turned 97 on that day.
On July 13th, paint and canvas met through a brush which was meta-physically driving directly from my subconsciousness like a plane on auto-pilot. I simply let the muse take over. It was scary and exciting at the same time. This was not a mixed-media piece as the many I had done before and nor it was an abstract piece either. Had been removed from art school for more than 20 years, I felt the butterflies, but butterflies of excitement. By the evening of July 16th, the painting was ready for my signature. Or was it?
As I looked at the seemingly completed piece of art, I began to realize that despite the fact, a recurring "dream" was what brought me to this point, the painting now sang another song altogether. That spark was truly fueling a different fire entirely and now another song from "Fiel a la Vega" was truly the driving force. "Las Flores de Emilio" (Emilio's Flowers) truly encapsulates both physically and mentally the inspiration behind, not just of this piece, but now what this piece represents to me, the artist, the human, the citizen.
De toda la vida, la vida te quita
Pero que no cansen tus brazos
Pero que aguanten tu paso y sigue
Aya je aya je, aya je aya je
El que tenga talento no tiene perdon si no sabe que hacer con el
Echale agua, echale sol,
Que el talento necesita, que le abones tu calor
Of all life, life takes away
But do not let your arms get tired
But keep your pace and continue
Aya je aya je, aya je aya je
He who has talent has no forgiveness if he doesn't know what to do with it
Pour some water, pour it some sun
What talent needs its for you feed it your love
A whole month has come and gone from this small artistic interlude, but the results have gone tremendously prolific as I have now fully painted 3 additional completed paintings and the inspiration for more is both vibrant and refreshing. My artistic Renaissance is in full swing drawing pleasant surprises and yielding good fruit.
"It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don't do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself,. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.
You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God.
Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It's a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got.”
― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
I have not had a return engagement of that recurring dream, but somehow I feel as if that mission has been accomplished. I still fully do not understand as to why I kept on dreaming this image, but I am grateful about this given opportunity to learn about the importance of dreams and showing me how to use my talent in a different way, perhaps as an agent of change. I also like to thank that someone who never gave up and pushed me to carry on while providing me inspiration. I hope you are smiling brighter today.