The Daily WORD is EL GRECO
At the church fair, I was given a calendar printed by a local secondary school as one of my gratuities for sitting on stage among 40 other honored guests for an endless hour of speeches. My other prizes are a gaudy-awful wall hanging that I am re-gifting to Dolly for cutting my hair (if she ever shows up) and a rose that I re-gifted to Vasanti.
I’m keeping the calendar. The center picture on each page is a scene of Christ going about his work. The pictures did not fit the space available so the designer simply elongated them. Christ and his friends, donkeys, and birds look like the work of El Greco.
At the Prado, I was told that El Greco had a visual impairment: that’s why his figures are elongated.
The designer has no such excuse. His job was not to deliver a quality product; his job was to get the thing done on time.
Which he did.
A rare feat, here in India, getting anything done on time.
An impossible task back home, getting the thing done on time – to perfection.
When I first looked at the pictures, I had that superior First World feeling: we would never publish anything so, well, amateur. We strive for perfection on deadline. We worry that we split an infinitive while the print job is on the press. We scrutinize the press proofs: is that the exact right shade of yellow? And when the job is done, we always see some little something that could have been worded more fluently, designed more artistically. All this worry when we know that most readers are blithely unaware of the finer points of grammar and design.
The calendar will remind me that few care about, or even recognize, perfection.
I wonder if my friends will notice that Christ and his disciples took a bit stretched, like they were racked. Or will they just notice the smiles of folks out and about with The Teacher.
PS: I haven’t received any reports of Fred sightings (see BAZAAR). I know he’s out there – keep looking.