Last week while looking through the sketchbook in which I found the artwork for my previous post, I came upon a drawing I had forgotten. A few years ago I used the drawing as a starting point for an oil painting. The painting was, in its style, unlike other work I had done. In the painting, the little bird in the tree has disappeared and the animal on the ground is now walking alone.
A phrase just came to mind: Alone and the road before me. I knew I had heard it before somewhere. Then I remembered the magnificent poetry of Ghassan Zaqtan. One of his poems is Alone and the River Before Me, translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah in Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me. That line had morphed into the one that I thought of.
Here’s the drawing and the painting.