Firewall



Sharing a dream doesn't have to be a nightmare. Like Alice I'm falling until I land in a coal mine. Trapped I have only got a paint brush a canvas and an eisel to dig my way out. Yet the more I paint the more I lose control of the image I'm painting. It seems to be fighting back with a life of its own. Then almost in complete contrast I see a pristine bespoke gallery with my Paintings lighting-up the show, literally. Then I see a surge of people who look like an operatically dressed type of inquiring minds, smiling dazzlingly at my work. I feel a sense of excilleration momentarily, and then I notice that they're not looking at my Paintings but at the prices next to them. But I'm preoccupied only with a non-sequiter: are they operatic singers or the audience? Then, like confetti, cheques drop on to the scene, and like manna the beautiful people beneath start swallowing the cheques but through their nostrils, whooping with a cough of approval.

Then, a multitude of eyeless faces appear claiming to be from the 'Christmas Carol', who are shouting about how much they've been ripped-off by....a figure called Art-her on his lapel. Then suddenly I think I wake-up, finding bloodless eyeballs on my face. It takes a couple of seconds but I begin to see that this is not ghoulish but Artists from the past donating all they have seen as a hope that I can reveal hundreds of ways that they have lived. But instead of following their visual virtue I can not look outwards only inwards. I am suddenly struck by the pain of failure, convinced that I have failed my fellow Artist except every self-doubt he/she can muster. The gift of Art has become a nightmare within a nightmare. Have I lost my source of inspiration? Am I cursed? Have I lost sight when I've been given the patronage of Artistic role models of the past to see beyond my limitations?

Then I see the dignity of the gallery shattered by the drunken burlesque that this crowd have descended into, as the rowdy crowd start snorting the price list, followed by the water sprinklers spray lager on the motley crowd beneath.until the Paintings begin to smoke, tear and erupt into balls of fire, where once again find myself in the coal mine etc I think I wake-up saying over and over again:"This is my firewall", until I see the brush in my hand, the canvas in front of me half-finished, but with my signature beneath my feet, in chalk that can be easily erased.

Have I truly woken -up or not? You decide.


© 2019 Stephen Hornsby-Smith

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