The Masterpiece

 

Every visit at my father’s workshop, I stared at that blank, mottled canvass in the wall. My old man, who has had a little amount of success in his days as an artist, wouldn’t utter a word nor speak more about it, except the usual, “That’s the best painting I ever made son.” That prided masterpiece sparked my curiosity for many years.  I often muttered, “It’s odd. There’s really nothing there but that dappled piece of cloth and wooden board. Beside it are the real works which I thought have greater worth. “No,” he said, “that will always be my source of joy.” So I just often let it go and didn’t push further. After my father succumbed to an illness sometime in 2005, our family was totally wrecked apart. He virtually withdrew from real family connection. He started to hate everything. I suspected that it included the fact that his only son cannot even draw some good stick figures. So life hated him back, too. I’ve never set foot in his workshop anymore. He died a few years later—frustrated, sad, and hateful. After he was laid to rest, I found myself in his workshop once more. There, at its usual place was that blank canvass, staring back; taunting me to unhinge it from the wall. So I snatched it out and ripped it open. Inside the thick layer of cloth I saw my first drawings—some doodles on top of my father’s painting wasted by my innocent artwork.

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