August 2015

- Sunflowers in the Pumpkin Field -




From the terrace of my mother’s house, I could see a beautiful field of sunflowers on the edge of the village. Spontaneously I packed my painting equipment in the basket of my bicycle and rode to the field. I pushed the bike over the farmland and soon stood in the middle of the wonderfully tall sunflowers, painting in harmony with myself and the world around me. It didn’t even occur to me that this field might belong to someone and that this someone might be annoyed by my presence on their land. Suddenly a car came to a halt on the edge of the field, a man got out and advanced rapidly in my direction. “Hello and good day”, I greeted him politely. His voice sounded simultaneously hoarse and accusatory as he asked: “What do you think you’re doing here?” – “I’m painting”, I replied and pointed to my canvas. Barely gracing my work with a glance, he gestured towards the basket on my bike. “And what are you planning to do with that?” – I didn’t really understand the question and explained: “That’s where I put my painting equipment when I ride my bike”. Could he really be so slow-witted? – “And the pumpkins?” he asked in a harsh tone. – What pumpkins? Oh, that’s right: they were scattered all over the ground between the sunflowers. Big, orange and almost ready to be harvested. “They’re impressive pumpkins”, I commented – “And I bet you’re here to take them!” It was in this moment that I finally grasped the situation: the man considered me to be a potential thief, planning to rob him of the fruit of his labour. I offered a friendly smile and shook my head energetically: “No, I hadn’t even noticed them. I’m just here to paint your wonderful sunflowers! May I stay and carry on?” He did nod, but it seemed to me as if he was still plagued by doubts regarding my intentions while he, without saying another word, returned to his car.

That’s simply how it is: curious situations are often the result of misunderstandings. And misunderstandings come about when there are fundamental differences in the worldviews of two individuals.


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