hicago Time-Travel From Giotto To Goya To Gottfried Avenue

At one time masters like Giotto and then later Goya could seize and capture the meaning of life in one sweeping piece of art. Each of their paintings orchestrated the central elements of their culture into a visual perfection. They dramatized how angels and devils, lords and peasants, fish and fowl could somehow make sense out of their otherwise chaotic world.

Just last week I unintentionally came across what you might call a living mural. A small flesh-and-blood scene which to me had not one whit less of an aesthetic message than if it had been posed in some 15th C royal court. Picture this. A cluster of figures coincidentally galaxy-ed around a precious little child I shall call Emily.

There was her young mother waiting for an arriving school bus...a pair of teens scuffling on the lawn ...a fuzzy puppy charging a nearby squirrel...and in the midst of it all, what I took to be the reason for it all. Six-year-old Emily of the curious piercing brown eyes, holding firm mommy's hand.

The geometric composition was prefect for this December day in the wintry finale of 2012. The hovering attentions of a caring parent, the uncaring flex of adolescent muscles, raw nature in motion, a government subsidized school bus, and Emily whose crackling dark eyes gawked at it all. Never suspecting that someday it all would be hers.

And all the other little Emilys and Edwards who would one day once more try to change the world.

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