Self-Portrait of a Mountain

I was having some trouble drawing a self-portrait when I asked for some advice from my friend Jimmy Toscano.

“Do you know how a mountain paints its self-portrait?” he asked me.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Well, let me start with something a little simpler.  Do you know how a family paints its self-portrait?”


“It delegates one member to do it  That person writes a novel or a poem or sings a song and in that song the good listener can hear the mother and father and the very good listener can hear the grandparents.”

“I see.  But how does a mountain paint its self portrait?”

“A mountain has a village at the foot of it and in the village is a man who learns to paint and he paints a portrait of the mountain.  But he’s part of the mountain.  He’s the part the mountain uses to paint it’s self portrait.”

“So are you saying that a small part of me paints a portrait of something else and that’s my self-portrait?  Or are you saying that I paint a portrait of whatever I paint a portrait of and it’s something bigger than me using me to paint a portrait of its self.”

But the D train’s doors were closed and Jimmy Toscano was rushing away towards Avenue J, leaving me on the platform, trying to put my question into words.


2 thoughts on “Self-Portrait of a Mountain

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s