Years ago, I photographed my friend Becky in the gentle glow of a late Fall afternoon. By luck, the photo turned out to be quite beautiful. So, yesterday, I decided to sketch Becky from the photograph.
Unfortunately, her face in the photo is less than one-third the size of a dime. Even though I am using a magnifying glass to see the details, and even though I have arranged every portable lamp in my apartment next to my work table to better the light, I can still feel myself going blind as I pour over the minute details of her face.
Going blind is not going to stop me, though, because this is art and — after all — one must always expect to make a sacrifice or two for one’s art.
So, what’s the problem, then?
Well, the problem is, I naturally enough want my closest friends and family to believe the best of me. That is, my ego is big enough that I want them to believe my blindness was a tragedy. But it is a tragedy only if I went blind in order to sketch a beautiful woman.
Instead, I just know for a fact that — given how my closest friends and family are intimately familiar with both my strengths and my weaknesses — they are very likely to secretly, but stubbornly, convince themselves I most certainly went blind from a much less tragic cause — namely, from all the years I spent foolishly eating my own cooking. Who on earth will lament my blindness then? How many beautiful women will pine over my fate if they think it was an unfortunate encounter with the deep-fried macaroni and cheese that did it? Can I expect even the least sympathy for the simple fact I never met a good recipe that my complete lack of kitchen sense was unable to overcome? What am I to do? No less than my reputation is at stake here!