Great paintings—people flock to see them, they draw crowds, they’re reproduced endlessly on coffee mugs and mouse pads and anything-you-like. And, I count myself in the following, you can have a lifetime of perfectly sincere museum-going where you traipse around enjoying everything and then go out and have some lunch. But if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see and think and feel, you don’t think, ‘oh, I love this picture because it’s universal.’ ‘I love this painting because it speaks to all mankind.’ That’s not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It’s a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes you. An individual heart-shock. Your dream, Welty’s dream, Vermeer’s dream. You see one painting, I see another, the art book puts it at another remove still, the lady buying the greeting card at the museum gift shop sees something else entire and that’s not even to mention the people separated from us by time—four hundred years before us, four hundred years after we’re gone—it’ll never strike anybody the same way and the great majority of people it’ll never strike in any deep way at all but—a really great painting is fluid enough to work its way into the mind and heart through all kinds of different angles, in ways that are unique and very particular. Yours, yours. I was painted for you. And—oh, I don’t know, stop me if I’m rambling… but Welty himself used to talk about fateful objects. Every dealer and antiquaire recognizes them. The pieces that occur and recur. Maybe for someone else, not a dealer, it wouldn’t be an object. It’d be a city, a color, a time of day. The nail where your fate is liable to catch and snag.
Donna Tartt
Take this message to your people, you obsequious little worm, I murmured. Anyone who lays a hand on Jordan Amador will have to answer to me. Now do me a favor and go to hell.I removed my sword from his hand and then decapitated him. His severed head tumbled across the floor like a wayward bowling ball. Good riddance.I set my sword aside, found a stool in the corner and climbed up in front of Jordan. Her handcuffs were attached to a huge meat hook bolted into the ceiling. I lifted her off of it with great care, unsure if she had the strength to stand. As soon as her arms were free, she looped them around my shoulders and pressed her face against my neck. She was trembling, but not crying. I sank to the floor and cradled her in my lap, breathing out the last of my anger now that she was safe. ‘M sorry, she mumbled in a small voice. I’m so sorry, Michael.I snorted. What the hell do you have to apologize for? You got kidnapped. Pretty sure that’s not your fault.She shook her head, her words partially muffled as she pressed her face against my shirt. Should’ve been stronger. I could’ve gotten you killed.By Heckle and Jeckle here? Not likely.A shaky laugh rattled through her. She slid her fingers into the hairs along the nape of my neck and hugged me tighter. I knew from experience she didn’t want me to see her face because she knew she was only seconds away from breaking down. No one would ever accuse Jordan Amador of being a crybaby, not if she could help it. It was a ridiculous notion at best, but I indulged her anyway. Thank you.Just doing my job. But you’re welcome.I smoothed the sweaty hairs away from her forehead enough to kiss it. She didn’t move away. We stayed there for a while without speaking, just clinging to each other until we felt strong enough to separate.
Kyoko M.