Wednesday, December 1, 2010
中国画象 Chinese Portrait
I became intrigued by a blog about Chinese Portraits today. It is an abstract artistic depiction of a person or personality by answering "If I were" questions. If I were a flower, if I were a word, a book, a motto, a work of art. It sounds a little like a weak amalgam of Proust’s Questionnaire, Bernard Pivot channeled by James Lipton, and a dash of the Miss America IQ test. The concept is interesting, especially with its polarizing potential to be deeply insightful or painfully moronic (Miss Universe).
I think it would be fun if, instead of writing our own Chinese Portraits, we had them painted by the people who know us well; or even better, by those who think they know us but really don’t. I think it would feel like sitting in the back row of your own funeral to hear what our friends really think about us.
This morning I got as far as writing two colors of my own portrait. I have no idea how many other colors it will take to paint a complete picture of me, but I’ve decided to keep a running list and add to it now and then.
If I were:
I would be the long painful squeek of an old spring on a wooden screen door. It has always been my favorite and most satisfying sound; better than the sound of Cheetos or bubble wrap. It’s the in and out of every day. Hurried departures and tired and deliberate entrances. There is something organically satisfying in that squeeeek as the spring stretches and complains and then the loud bang of the door against the jamb, the short recoil and repeat.
I would be Impatience. The hurry up and get on with it kind. The come on what’s you point? voice screaming in my head when I’m trying so hard to listen to what you have to say but I’m actually mentally editing out 50% of your verbiage because you use more words than are really necessary to get to the god damn point!