NM Paintings 2023 > The Hole in the Road

The Hole in the Road - Tilt
The Hole in the Road - Tilt
ink, acrylic, and tempera on paper
38" x 28"
July 2023

The Hole in the Road

You know it’s there and sometimes it seems as though it’s gotten bigger since the last time you came by this way. Or maybe this is a new one, another one to anticipate, avoid, steer around. Sometimes you don’t catch them in time, or swerve a little too late and are almost taken in. You try to remember the when and where you saw the really deep ones – the ones to be avoided perhaps by taking another road altogether. A detour could save a lot even though it could take much longer to reach where the roads converge. At least you can be somewhat reassured that the detour will allow for your eventual arrival whereas those holes may swallow you up the way it is said they’ve taken in others, the never-seen-again.

“It had your name on it,” goes the blessing or the curse. Each time you’ve avoided the hole in the road, you’ve wondered who to thank, or if you are thanking the same source that left the hole in the first place. Sometimes you can bump through it and keep going like nothing really happened. Sometimes the jolt leaves hidden damages that are only discovered later, perhaps when you attempt to veer around the next one and find things have stiffened and options are more limited. Sometimes you can stop and do the required repairs before you go on. Sometimes you must wait as things settle into new configurations as the jolted jumbles from new to used. Down the road you go realigned but holding to your side of the line still.

As the days get shorter and the light fades, even more vigilance is called for. The holes of familiar routes need to be recalled and skated around without distraction. They may be wider. They may be longer. The road has become narrower by their collapse

Light streams by, joining the past where the never-seen-again cannot be re-illuminated as they disappear behind us. The day fades further and it might be wiser to stay put but then we will be late – always late. So better to continue as we must to where the detours and thoroughfares converge – out there safely beyond the holes in the road.