I was sitting at my easel last night when my son came to visit me. He never gives me any warning, or I’d have baked him a cake, of course. I was looking at the sunset waiting for some inspiration when he walked up behind me, grabbed one of my paintbrushes and started to paint a picture for me. Now he never was very artistic – he’s the brains of the family, but this painting I will keep for ever. Why?
He’s thirty-seven and I am, well, shall I say, considerably older. I never was one for understanding facts and figures, but now I am suffering from a not-so-rare disease which cannot ever be cured by doctors – “Information Overload.” I now have the attention span of a gnat and can never remember anything for longer than five minutes – that’s on a good day! My brain is so full of old information, bad information, misinformation and useless information that there is no room for any more. Like any computer, I need a “Delete” button to get rid of my files that I don’t need any more to make room for new, like where I am supposed to be going tomorrow, at what time, and how I am going to get there. My son despairs of me, keeps explaining things in great detail, but however hard I try, I just can’t take it in, and I keep getting lost.
Anyway, back to the painting. Three different coloured and different sized circles with dots in the middle. They all overlap each other, and at that point there is a cross, marked “me”. An attempt to make the picture 3D, with another sphere encircling the other three circles. What could it be?
Frankly, he had painted me better pictures at school when he was five. A red square house with four white windows at each corner, a blue door in the middle, a chimney on the roof with a squiggle of grey coming out of it; a light green bottom half to the picture and a pale blue top half with a yellow ball up high. I knew what that was straight away. But this painting completely had me flummoxed.
“That is how GPS works”, he said.” And here is your new sat nav. You should never get lost again.”
I look forward to my next lesson.
Written for Helium but it didn’t score very well!