“He’s down here, sitting in the garden.”
We walked around a corner and I saw the old man sitting, just staring across the small lily pond, not noticing our arrival at all.
He glanced up at us as we came to his side, but returned his attention to his gardens and the water.
We waited, letting him take his time, though I felt a little chilled, just standing there. It was partially cloudy and a bit windy.
I must have made some noise as I shifted my weight to my other foot, for he turned towards me and smiled knowingly.
“Young man,” he said, “what are you seeing?”
“A beautiful garden. A pond. A bridge.” I shrugged, feeling a little uncomfortable under his gaze. “Yes, it is peaceful. So static…”
He moved a little, as if in a silent chuckle.
“Static? You call this static?” He waved a gnarled hand. “Look at the flowers blowing in the wind! They are constantly shifting, bending one way and then another, never the same twice. And the water. Oh, that water, the magical water! The light is constantly changing, making it come alive. If I could ever make a painting like that water, I would die a happy man!”
I looked out at the water. He had made some paintings of this water, but they had been changing of late. They were no longer of the scene itself, but, I hated to use the word, impressions of the scene.
“Your paintings are wonderful, M. Monet.”
“No, this,” he waved a hand indicating all that could be seen, “this is my true masterpiece, though I deserve only a little credit. This was painted by God himself. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to continue to study the work of the greatest master of the arts…”
He returned his attention to the small pond and garden, not seeing us at all, as if we didn’t exist.
As I was led away, I could only wonder what the future would think of his over-sized paintings of this simple scene.
Written for Sue Vincent’s writephoto challenge. The photo at the top is Sue’s. She also gave us a key word, Painted.
To answer the narrator’s question, any who have stood in front of those gigantic water lilies, those at L’Orangerie and others spread across the globe, will know what “the future” thinks ;)