Picasso Pa, by Zion Brave Bennett
Every parent asks their child the same question when they pick them up after school.
“How was school today?”
And every child gives one of two answers.
“Good” or “Boring”. That’s it. Nothing more. End of story.
Then every parent follows up with a subsequent question.
“What did you learn today?”
To which every child answers, “Nothing.” Full stop. End of discussion.
Why we do this is, day after day after day, is something of a mystery.
Yet we persist.
My daughter asks the same questions of her 6 year old son, and he answers with the same responses.
Yesterday was a day to go down in history.
No sooner had Rachel pulled the car in to the ‘Kiss-and-Drop’ zone (aka quick pickup lane) outside school, when Zion leapt into the car and blurted out,
“Guess what we learnt about today Mum!” She didn’t even have to ask THE question.
“You know, the painter guy, Picasso.”
Zion then proceeded to enlighten his mother about Picasso’s ‘Rose period’ and his ‘Blue period’ and other interesting Picasso facts all the way home. He was totally excited about the whole thing, and had even done a Picasso painting himself which is now on display in his classroom.
Later, when Rachel and the boys came over for dinner, Zion presented Ross with a portrait of his Pa.
A Picasso Pa.
Ross being an artist himself knows all about Picasso, so dinner conversation tended to centre on the works of Picasso.
Rachel and I smiled at each other. Wow, maybe we have another artist in the family – yes!! Can never have too many creative types in one family I say!
This morning I taped Picasso Pa onto Pa’s study door.
Then I proceeded to check up on Picasso via the internet – thought I’d better keep up with my grandson’s education. And as it turned out, I was grateful that I did.
Interesting man, unique artwork, can’t say I agree too much with his religious or political beliefs, but I did appreciate some comments Picasso had made throughout his life.
“Every child is an artist.
The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
“It took me four years to paint like Raphael,
but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
I love this revelation – a child has the ability to imagine, to wonder, to create, and to express life in such naive freedom. A child is spontaneous, open to new concepts, ready to try new things.
I’m sure that’s what Jesus was getting at when He said,
“Don’t keep children away from me. Don’t ever get between
them and me. These children are at the very centre of life in
the Kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s Kingdom
in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” (Mark 10:14-16, MSG)
The simplicity of a child. Openness, receptivity.
Picasso said a couple of other things which also struck a chord.
“Others have seen what is and asked why.
I have seen what could be and asked why not.”
“I am always doing that which I cannot do,
in order to learn how to do it.”
I love this too – Picasso striving to go beyond the expected, to stretch beyond boundaries, to explore possibilities, to uncover more of the potential within himself.
It seems this belief in himself, and this challenge to climb ever higher was fostered in his childhood . . .
“When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become
a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll
be the Pope.’ Instead I became a painter, and wound up
Parents, grandparents, teachers, leaders what amazing opportunities we have to water seeds of greatness in those entrusted to our care for a season. Great movers and shakers of the future, doing their best to make a positive difference in their generation.
So, I’m grateful to Picasso.
Grateful he fired up my grandson’s imagination and inspired him to step outside the box and try something new.
Grateful he’s encouraged me to keep “doing that which I cannot do in order to learn how to do it.”
Grateful he’s reminded me to keep on watering seeds of greatness into the upcoming generations.
It might also surprise Picasso to know that he reminded me too of the fact that God Himself has planted those seeds of greatness in all of us – and that He loves to help us discover them and use them to make a difference in this world.
Picasso Bird, by Zion Brave Bennett.
Currently on exhibition in Grade 1JP classroom