Chasing The Jones' Family

“It took me years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” – Pablo Picasso

Next time you feel you have time to observe something more than …. well, nothing … pay attention for a moment to a
child that seems to be in his own world somewhere, captivated by something that you and I would not give a microsecond
of thought to. Draw in to what you witness.


Children. Uninhibited, infinite, full of wonder. Innocence is their forte’. They don’t question their moves. There is no
‘wrong’. Driven by sheer imagination and the impulse of the moment, they don’t acknowledge restrictions, boundaries, or
the concept of ‘impossible’...


It is this modus operandi that kids bring to their entire way of living – from what they draw, to how they play, to how they
view the world at large they’re limitless and spontaneous. True artists. That is exactly Picasso’s point in the opening quote. ‘Painting like a child’ reflects the awe, the curiosity, the possibilities
that characterize childhood. Anything goes.


“Anything you can imagine is real”, Picasso also said… As children we were all a living testament to that creed.


But …. we … grow up…
And as we get older the box keeps shrinking, and the world around us gradually loses its luster…. The ordinary replaces
the ‘magical’, the mundane replaces the ‘exotic’, ‘been there, done that’ replaces ‘wow!’. The number of colors we
perceive in the palette we hold constantly dwindles, and even for those that remain, their vibrance fades. What was
conceivable, is now patently absurd. Potentials have encountered boundaries, dreams have been eclipsed by reality, and
possibilities, one by one, have vanished.


Picasso lamentfully realized this as well. “All children are artists. The problem is to remain an artist once he grows up”,
he remarked. But… since the vast majority of us are not working on our next art exhibition, what’s the point?


The point is that, like Picasso, we owe it to ourselves to find the way out of the labyrinth of ‘age’. Even if we’re just
another ‘Joe’, and 250 mornings a year, lukewarm coffee in hand, we commute to some nameless office, getting
reacquainted with the child within us can make such a powerful difference in how we live…. We will again see what we
have been blinded to. Relearn to enjoy things and experiences we have long taken for granted. Spend much of our time
in exuberance rather than drowning in apathy and boredom. And just maybe… we will discover once again possibilities
in our lives that we had mentally closed the door to.


Picasso certainly wasn’t the only one who understood the magic of childhood. One of my all-time favorite quotes belongs
to the novelist Joseph Heller who declared “When I grow up I want to be a little boy”.


I think Picasso and he had it all figured out. In the child within us is where the joy of life,

and the full immersion in it, lie.

Jim

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