Chinese for Contemplation


This is a 9×12 painting that began as a 2-hour life study.  I then worked on it a bit from imagination, adding background and softening the edges.  The Chinese symbols mean contemplation.

Here’s a poem for those who contemplate in coffee shops:

Bridal Shower

Perhaps, in a distant cafe,

four or five people are talking

with the four or five people

who are chatting on their cell phones this morning

in  my favorite cafe.

And perhaps someone there,

someone like me, is watching them as they frown,

or smile, or shrug

at their invisible friends or lovers,

jabbing the air for emphasis.

And, like me, he misses the old days,

when talking to yourself

meant you were crazy,

back when being crazy was a big deal,

not just an acronym

or something you could take a pill for.

I liked it

when people who were talking to themselves

might actually have been talking to God

or an angel.

You respected people like that.

You didn’t want to kill them,

as I want to kill the woman at the next table

with the little blue light on her ear

who has been telling the emptiness in front of her

about her daughter’s bridal shower

in astonishing detail

for the past thirty minutes.

O person like me,

phoneless in your distant cafe,

I wish we could meet to discuss this,

and perhaps you would help me

murder this woman on her cell phone,

after which we could have a cup of coffee,

maybe a bagel, and talk to each other,

face to face.

— George Bilgere

I must confess, I far prefer talking to people face to face, although I have never had an urge to kill someone on a cell phone.  (I text.)  But I do really like the thought that someone apparently talking to themselves just might be talking to God.