Next to the Belgian map hung a large print with an image of the package boat "the Belgians". The boat was as black as coal and with 3 smoking chimneys, exactly like a stove with 3 pipes, and all three smoked at the same time. The decor was his home port of Antwerp, the 500 m wide Schelde river with the hazy "Lievevrouw tower" in the background. I stared at it during the whole lesson. This print took all my attention, and for that I had to write many pages of punishment "I will pay attention during class" but that had to be done at home and it had to be signed by father the next day - At home they said, the master must be right - from which I decided that big people are always right, and play boss over the children. But I still believe that this image has had a big impact on my imagination. When I consider that an Einstein, you know there are no 2, claimed that the imagination is more important than KNOWING I was almost right too. In any case, that "light bender" wasn't like anyone else! Unfortunately back then I didn't know Einstein yet and the teacher never mentioned him. Besides, nobody would have understood, we were only in the 5th year of study after all...
A small part that was above the water was dyed red as a man, probably to counteract the rust caused by the salty seawater. Said water of the Schelde had a grim gray tint to it, nothing transparent and slightly wavy with here and there foaming waves banging against each other. In the foreground a tugboat was depicted, which compared to this colossus looked rather like a black shrimp, and smoked black smoke from a large black mantelpiece, a reflection in the water. Groups of people, passengers or others who were tiny, minuscule spots of color in this mighty painting. I had to retake that year twice in the school and I was on the same couch of the year before when that teacher probably understood that there was no traditional learning in me. I had become the pear of my dream. Because of this print I would either go sailing or become an artist, it became the latter and yet I maintain that this story was decisive in my career choice.
With all my rambling I am straying more and more away from my subject, but I find it important that a human is packaged in what he does. I also end up in that "clockwork system" called society. On a side note it's for the better as things like math never were my strong suit. Years before we had notions of numbers that we could add or subtract, but when it came to dividing it became a bit too much. Same as the that dreaded metric system. Something with pieces and chunks - Our teacher called that fractions (something like that, I made the associations with the physical fractions of human bones) just like that my mind always wandered off in a totally different direction. I could stop and stare at a shopping window and get lost in thoughts, like no other sane person would ever do.
If he " the master with the board filled with explanations had written a complex problem on the board, my eyes would start to spin and I only had one wish : That he would't stop and suddenly say "Verheyden, what did I jsut explain?" because I was often more focused on the picture of the Belgians than on his abracadabra.
I had it in me and I felt it grow from day to day. I knew that I could go in all directions with it. A line is more powerful and substantively stronger than a word, and even a child could understand that, but reason wins it again over the desire. And a person must be able to a lot of different things in order to step through life in a normal way. But ART , that word got rooted more and more in my mind ... Why have so many statues of artists and museums been built?
Rembrandt-Michelangelo -Rubens- that was quite different from 1 and 1 is 2. And it is therefore normal for our roads to separate here. The "monkey trainer" and his curriculum, and me to explore the nearby city with the encouragement of my father, an eager heart and shorts ... Until I landed in the academy, I saw the entrance gate that provided access to the courtyard with cobblestones and the statue of David Teniers under the trees (thanks you David. to make such a great school!)
The policemen still drove on bikes (in dark blue with a huge cap and lacquered cliffs) The first one was serious and pale, he drove at the front with stripes on his sleeves and a blush on the back, with a sluggish speed saying hello to everyone as they continued their daily tour ... The mayor also drove on his bike to the town hall, I have seen that dozens of times, because he lived only a stone's throw away from our house. He always jumped on his bike by doing a 2-3 timed trot with his left foot on the protruding axis of the rear wheel, the steering wheel in both hands and then .. hop with the aim of the saddle and he was gone!
© All rights reserved 2019 | Images and Artwork by - Jan Verheyden | Website design by - Koen Verheyden | (See Legal)