“The Land of My Fathers”

Copyright - Björn Rudberg

(Copyright: Björn Rudberg)

My family farmed this land for generations. My great-great-grandfather cleared the first terrace and built the first wall; his son leveled the second, piled more stone. So it went, down to me.

I was too good to bury my hands in dirt; I moved to the city to seek fame as an artist. Broke, I took a job painting bridges and lived my life making money, not art.

I returned to the land of my fathers and began building a studio. Pain introduced me to drugs. Now, I’ll never finish my studio or paint my pretty pictures.

And my body will be buried in the dirt.

(Written for Friday Fictioneers, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. January 24, 2014.)

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46 Responses to “The Land of My Fathers”

  1. Adam Ickes says:

    The line “lived my life making money, not art” is great and so true for many people. Great story.

  2. This is so sad.. dreams don’t build homes, rocks do.. but so much truth in this (and hey our thoughts were similar, but ending different)

  3. Sandra says:

    The voice in this is so sad and reflective, you just nailed that perfectly vb. Loved it.

  4. I’ve painted houses. With a roller and 6 inch brush.

  5. atrm61 says:

    Such a sad end-to dreams,hopes and life!Very well written Vb:-)

  6. Dreams don’t always come true. Well told.

  7. DCTdesigns says:

    So well written. I love how real and melancholy this is. Life doesn’t guarantee happy endings.

  8. Way to capture such a universal theme! What we’e all trying to avoid, that’s why we’re here. To make art and share it with others, and enjoy there’s as well.

  9. this is amazing. such a heartbreak, expressed so well in just a few words.

  10. Lala Rukh says:

    Oh God money eats like this…Yes it do. Love the story !

  11. troy P. says:

    As bleak as the burnt hill looming above the green.

  12. I like the way this came full circle in so few words.

  13. It’s sad that he thought he was too good for the land and couldn’t come to terms in some way with making art while also making a living. Art is a difficult arena in which to financially survive without an additional way, or several additional ways, to make money. I agree with what Dawn said above. You did an excellent job of spanning a lot of time.

    janet

    • vb holmes says:

      Many thanks, Janet. I suspect he left because he knew that if he stayed, the land would take all his time and energy. Unfortunately, the city did the same. Happens to too many creative people. How is your daughter doing at PAFA? Great school.

  14. Nan Falkner says:

    Very well written – and sad. He gave up his passion of painting so he could leave the farm seeking fortune and frame fame. Then to come back and repeat his failure that occurred in the city. Thanks, it was a great story. Nan

  15. Dear VB.

    The way you used the dirt to bring it full circle is a pitch-perfect. Well done. Bravo!

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

  16. Tough life. It’s those early decisions that decide our ways.

  17. Jan Brown says:

    A realistic slice of life — well done.

  18. rgayer55 says:

    They aren’t called “starving artists” for nothing. Sounds like this family tradition is about to come to an end. A very well written piece, VB.

  19. wmqcolby says:

    Jeez, talk about a useless existence … you’d think this guy had never heard of e-bay to sell his paintings.

  20. Subroto says:

    Great ending, reminded me of lines by the mystic poet Kabir
    “Why dost thou trample upon me?” crieth the earth to the potter, “A day will come when I shall trample upon thee.”

  21. vb holmes says:

    Appropriate quote–thanks for introducing me to Kabir.

  22. Life is about choices and he made his. Sometimes we wait too long to correct them.

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