My friend, the bicycle man, came all the way from the Dordogne River Valley to Tennessee with me. I have had a love affair with him for years. His French attitude toward American tourists has never stopped me from loving him. His blue coveralls, his sandals, his shrug when I indicated a desire to photograph him, still make me laugh. It’s like that when love is involved. You see everything in Love’s light.
Because this painting is a part of my inner furniture, he is deeply personal to me. He carries with him both sorrows and joys. This mender of bicycles and I spoke the same language when we met, though we did not understand a word the other said. In all the hours of painting him, in each application of color, are embedded my thoughts, my prayers, my gratitude, my hope – hope for more light and love, a keen desire to keep going farther up and farther into truth.
These emotions are as real as the sun and moon. They are however, more mysterious. Where does friendship come from? I don’t know. It just appears.