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path of life

published: 2012-10-26

As a child, I used to study patterns on wallpaper. I’d often take naps in any irrelevant room upstairs, even during Summer holidays when everyone was outside. Family gatherings with barbecues, muffled cheeriness. The occasional distinctive voice would jump up out of the murmur of fun. While I’d be staring at wallpaper. I’d look at the seams and whether the pattern would continue properly. And then I’d fall asleep. I’d wake up an hour or two later, day would be darkening. Still, there was always that pattern to look at. I mindlessly doodled patterns too, the same ones over and over again. Triangle shaped and with various interconnected stripes, black white black white.
A friend of my mother’s was a well reputed jewelry designer. She once noticed my doodling and said, “I can see you’re not a creative soul, everything is in the lines, controlled.” I must have been 12 at the time. The woman had an open face and bright blue eyes. She’d say such things as if in innocent surprise. But I remember feeling awkward, like I was being dismissed.
Today, I bought a book of M.C. Escher’s work and while leafing through the pages, somehow what this woman said came to mind.
This is Escher’s Path of Life III, 1966. Maybe I should have never stopped staring at wallpaper.

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