Okay, this wasn't supposed to be so long, but I was inspired to write it. It's not out of my book; I just wrote it in the last hour or so. Hopefully by the end you'll get my point, but if not, I understand.
The artist stroked the paper delicately with his finest brush. He angled it across his canvas, neatly streaking a dab of the moon's blue glow to edge the cheek and brow of a soft olive face. This new contrast sparked an amazing sense that the pictured face was not only a real, three-dimensional object, but also an object that held layers of skin, flesh, blood, and soul underneath.
Then the artist painted the rest of his wife's skin, from her raven-feathered locks and curls all the way down to her bare toes. He drew each gentle curve without the hindrance of cloth or jewellery, for she was clothed only in shadow and the radiance of the moon. Her hands were tucked in her arms across her chest-she always crossed her arms whenever she was embarrassed. The artist knew that should she have been here, she would have been locked in the same poise that he remembered so well. He also knew that he would never see her strike that posture again.
The artist's hands shuddered with every stroke now-and tears began to fall from his eyes. He held his hand away from the paper for a moment, for fear of emotion destroying what emotion had prompted him to achieve. Only when he could calm himself did the artist return to his work.
The ultimate object of his affection lay nearly complete. Her slender form swallowed up the shadows of the night like a thirsty traveller. Her hair shimmered in round curls, falling around her face a breeze pushing them to one side. Behind her the artist had painted the starlit night and moon almost out of sight behind a lone cloud. Underneath it the ocean lay like a wrinkled black carpet of shiny obsidian, foaming where it stretched across the foamy beach. The waters rushed up past the ankles of the woman, sinking them in the silverish sand.
Yet the picture was not complete. The woman was still eyeless, for the artist always reserved the portrayal of eyes until the very end, for they were the most significant aspect of a person's appearance in his mind-the soul and spirit of character itself.
Gently her eyes came to life with the painted reflections of the artist's own self. Each and every tiny speck of paint was exactly where he wanted it to be, and the eyes of his wife were made as real as they could have been in life. Her eyelashes ringed the green irises and completed both them and the entire picture.
As soon as he realized that he was finished, the artist dropped his brush and stared, as if he knew not to do now that he was finished. His eyes moistened and blurred as he thought of her, and also his loss. He sobbed, alone in his studio except for the woman before him.
After a while the artist regained some of his emotions, and thought in a new light. Yes, his love may have been gone forever, but he had given her such a tribute as this, one that would last longer than his own flesh and memory. Even if they knew her not, others would see her and her beauty in the way only he had. She may not have lived as long as he did, but she would live on quite longer than he would.
And the artist knew that he had done something amazing, something that only intelligence and emotion could accomplish. After all, had he simply thrown the paint onto the canvas, it would never have become the same image-the lack of care and design would strip it of its beauty. Yes, there could not have been such a painting without the care of such an artist.
The musician strummed her violin vibrantly to the composer's wish and command. The intensity of her instrument rose and matched those next to her-the cello, the trumpet, the trombone, the harp and many others. All rose with increasing vigour, climbing to a peak of excited anticipation. Yet, at the same time, a tuba and saxophone began their descent into a state of slow solitude. The grand piano soon followed them into the void of depression.
Then the excitement of the orchestra dwindled, matching the somber tunes of the few lowly-playing musicians. The entire symphony nearly came to a standstill; and then it jumped once again into a vivid frenzy like a frightened deer. It was excited, fearful, joyous, and bold; but somehow the mournful underlying of the previous movement still remained, though not in the ear, but in the mind. A chilling flood of emotions ran down the spines of every human being in the auditorium, whether they were forming the music or simply listening to it.
Then came the violinist's solo. For a minute only did she play for the scrutiny and observance of all. However, she was not frightened, for though she had good right to be afraid, she simply let go of her concentration and allowed emotion to control her mixed song.
Her music brought on a flood of memory. For every cheerful note a pleasant dream reminded her of past joys; for every bleak chord a misery was resurrected. What was even more startling, however, was what happened when both emotions were played in the exact same instance. It brought on a euphoria that could not be explained-only desired. The violinist was urged on by every mingled passage to achieve more and more of the same, for she could not understand it and wanted to feel it more.
The drums joined with her in her shifting song, bringing a sense of quickening doom to both the good and the sad. Then the piano added to her sadness, and the trumpets to her unspeakable cheer. Soon it seemed like the entire orchestra was fighting for control of the mood; yet, no conflict was audible. It all flowed together with the entire spectrum of emotion, and both rose to a climax and fell to a quiet dwindling.
As the final notes were strummed, blown, or beaten, the violinist marveled at what had just passed. A hundred different instruments and a hundred different musicians had accomplished and destroyed many paradoxes in the time they had taken to play. There was unity and cohesion among every piece of the whole; they were completely ordained by the composer. There had been so many opposite emotions that had played simultaneously and had not fought, for the mixture of emotion it seemed was an emotion in itself. The entire piece was a probably disaster except for in the right hands, and in the right hands it had succeeded. Without so many directed actions working together, this heart-moving piece might have been nothing of consequence at all.
But then, the violinist thought, some consider music to be nothing but disturbance of air in a coordinated pattern. They see all things through the cynical eyes of scientists, and can only think and reason, not feel and believe. People like them will never know the beauty of music, for beauty does not exist to them.