Wednesday, July 18, 2007

No Fear

Do you know those hats, t-shirts, etc. that sport the "No Fear" logo? I've been thinking about getting one of those decals that goes across the top of your windshield, black with the words "No Fear" dropped out in white. Problem is, as near as I can tell, they don't make them for Beetles. I remain nonetheless sanguine, whatever that means.

But it does speak to a larger issue: that being the nature of one's behavior as one nears the end of a painting. I once read, in an article full of advice for novelists, that the closer you get to the end, you should slow down, not speed up. I'm sure this is good advice for as essentially pussified an endeavor as writing a novel, but it hardly reflects what I assume would have been Picasso's approach to the end of a painting.

My Picasso fantasy, such as it is, is that he was as bold in his strokes on the last day as he was on the first. And so, as I enter the last day of primary painting for Big Rupert, I must will myself to boldness. No Fear, I must say to myself. No Fear.

Which is easier said than done, given the state of Rupert's upper lip when we last visited him.

Still...what are the options? I'd like to get one of those bracelets that says "What Would Picasso Do?" Absent that, one turns, of course, to Tennyson:

1.

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

2.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

3.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

4.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

5.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

6.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

I am on Day Four of The Annotated Murdoch.

I'm but half a league from my goal; me and my 599 imaginary compadres.

Half a league. Oh shit, they're shooting at us! What would Picasso do? Shit.

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