Thursday, February 6, 2014

Weeping willow early November

My friend Gershon once said, (actually more than once)  that because he hadn't painted that day he really shouldn't eat. I said somewhat alarmed, “Oh!”. I was very young.
This was said while we were already eating – both of us cabbage borscht and gefilte fish with horse radish. Really good menu at this restaurant, The Bagel, they generally drew a large crowd  (they made their own bagels  daily – huge),  near his studio on Spadina. 
The owner of The Bagel, Benny, was short, bald head, white shirt and apron, wonderful man - a character. So was Gershon. Both were Polish. Gershon had a number on his forearm if you get the idea – but not Benny.
Every once in awhile Benny would fly off the handle – seldom really - but noticeable when he did. And his wife behind the counter would say quietly, “Benny, please.”  I commented about this, his anger. Gershon said that maybe he had a reason to be angry i.e. there was a cause - and how could I judge if I didn’t know. I waited for an explanation but there wasn’t any.
But back to Gershon and his painting/eating  thing – what made him say that? Was it guilt? Maybe he was just addicted to painting through the night and the bottle of vodka that went with it. I was much too young to know about things like being, driven etc – still don’t

Willow tree November oil primed panel 9"x12"
Marcia LaBelle(MC0henL©2013)


  1. Really? But I'm not sure it's about youth, because my son is totally driven. He needs to work. I think you do too. I suppose Gershon thought he should earn the right to eat. I feel that way too. Bad if I haven't earned the right to all of it, even seeing this magnificently driven painting. Gorgeous.



    1. Thanks, Barbara, for your comment. Difficult topic – ‘to earn the right to eat’ – how do you translate that? Does it also mean we need to earn the right to exist. The reality is no one asks to be born in the first place. G was a holocaust survivor, so was Benny – me not – difficult to compare or even to put into words. It’s a discussion well worth having but maybe somewhere private if those places still exist, at your place or mine.
      He's a dynamo, your son. I think he takes after the two of you.