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Golden Sign.

Painting by Alex Motylev. Golden Sign

Alex Motylev. Golden Sign

Language is a lot like falling in love: it always happens while we’re already in the middle of doing something we think is pretty important.

Our thoughts drift into existence from the middle of nowhere. To make the thoughts real and significant, we attach them to words in our minds or expressions.

Then we hang them up on an imaginary wall during our conversation or try to drive somewhere in them from one point in a relationship to another.

We never pause what we’re doing to use language. Each mumble and unfinished sentence becomes part of that activity—and often transforms what we’re doing or trying to do into something unexpected: unwanted.

Something we might come to regret or celebrate for the rest of our lives.

Words and concepts—even those we consider very trivial or offstage—have been expressed by someone somewhere before_ We put them in a different context than the last time they were expressed, and unwittingly push them ahead of us on a path trodden by somebody we will never meet, or even imagine.

Motylev’s painting is the road map to a conversation (partially internal and partly verbalized) shared by a group of people he doesn’t know but hopes to meet some day.

It’s definitely an interesting group of various hues and intent.

One of them talks in fits and starts, sometimes repeating himself and other times stumbling to his point.

A friend of his isn’t sure what she wants to say, so she talks like the flowered edge of a garden path

One younger guy doesn’t say much aloud and prefers to think dark edgy thoughts—even unspoken they eventually become part of the conversation and point toward a major final conclusion.

Motylev of course had recently been talking to brilliant people, who wouldn’t waste time pushing around thoughts and expressions that never amount to much

This painting is an important point being arrived at and expanded into something of heroic proportions, that includes elements of every contributor.

(We don’t see much from the woman speaking in flowers but we all know attractive people like her are good to have around)

The group’s members have no way of knowing that their conversation was once shared in a corner of the Chichen Itza ball field a thousand years earlier; at the climax of which one of the Mayan gods arrived with a group of mythical creatures and changed the world as we (will never) know it.

And blissfully unaware of how momentous this conversation once was, they share the check for a rather sumptuous lunch and get back to whatever they were doing earlier.

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