The mysterious power of art to move a personMornings in Ireland were chilly; the frost bit through theair and the wind was merciless. Undaunted, I ran through the small dirt trailin the woods, my heart beating in rhythm to the pounding of my feet on theground.Within thirty minutes I finished my morning jog and was backin the warmth of my small cabin. I slipped into my morning routine, makingmyself a cup of hot chocolate and then stretched out on the front porch.Ireland was home to fauna and folklore, and sitting in my small secluded cabinI found no reason to disagree. I was inIreland, on a purely business trip. I was a journalist and I was here to writeabout Duende. Duende was a world renowned artist, whose paintings had beenthe centre of talk since their launch.
What had made her paintings so uniqueand so different was the fact that they told a different tale to each personthat looked at it. It showed you your soul’s deepest secret. Or so I had beentold. Duende had remained anonymous, and I was determined to get an interviewout of her at her art gallery opening today.
*I was dressed in my finest, my tie slightly haphazard as Idrove down to the art gallery. I had even attempted to trim my beard, to asomewhat pleasing appearance.I wasn’t surprised to see the throngs of people that hadturned up for it.
There had to be at least over two thousand people. Flashingmy ID, I made my way to the front along with other media persons, the cameralights blinding me even this early into the evening. I had to get used to thissomeday.
The crowd roared as a car drove in and a girl walked in. Shewas younger than I thought she would be. Duende looked to be around her earlythirties. To be honest, I had expected someone with a wrinkled face and whitehair.
Duende walked slowly, smiled broadly and waved to the crowd almost shyly.As the camera clicked furiously and other people pointedtheir microphones at her and fired questions, I just watched. Her light greyeyes rested on me for a minute as she smiled and then she turned to hergallery. Cutting the ribbon that was tied across the open doorway she enteredand then beckoned for the people to follow.*Almost three hours had passed when the gallery had clearedout and only very few people milled about. Duende had been mingling, andtalking to people all evening and I had watched her, they way she was, herbehaviour, her quirks and only now was I to look at her work. The gallery was large and had several panels along whichhung works of art, framed in golden. It was as if I was pulled into a trance byher paintings, my feet carried me across the gallery to her final painting.
Itwas here, I stopped. Memories flitted through my mind and suddenly, as if a damhad broken they swam freely in my head. Isaw my four year old sister laughing. She was making jokes about how she didn’tneed a seat belt and that she was stronger than me. My parents turned around tostop our squabbling. They were angry with me. That was the last thing Iremembered and then with a shatter, my world went dark. My foolishness hadcost three lives.
Three lives of people very dear to me. ‘It wasn’t your fault.’ A voice broke through the fogginessand I blinked furiously, my hands swiping at the tears that seem to rest on my cheeks.’What do you know about my life?’ I asked my voice slightlyhoarse as I turned to see Duende standing beside me.’I do not know about your life, but I know about guilt.’Duende said and walked away. It took me quite some time to come to peace withmyself. After years, somehow, the art had helped ease my guilt.
I found myself next to Duende once again.’Thank you.’ I whispered to her. She smiled at me and theyreached her pretty grey eyes.
We stood in silence as we watched the people inthe gallery. ‘What is your inspiration?’ I asked her almost hesitantly.She tapped her mind and then her heart.’Most people tell me nature.’ I joked. She laughed heartily.
‘Well, I am going to have to disappoint you there because Iam blind Mr. Benedict.’ She replied and then with a broad smile walked away.I stared at her retreating figure, stunned.
How did she know my name?Shwetha RajaIII Viscom