60" x 100", Oil on Linen
A small word, a world of meaning.
It seemed so simple, playing the game. Black and white. Claim the king: checkmate.
But now, sitting on his vanquished foe, Peregrine Man is beset by the sudden loss of meaning, purpose. Despair rushes to fill the vacuum once occupied by the desire to succeed. Goals are curious things - they only work when they remain on the horizon, distant enough to lure us on. The closer one gets, they become strangely unsatisfying, relics of a more naïve self - one-dimensional in a three-dimensional life.
In the thick of the fray, there is no time to analyze motive, no place to check one's bearings, assess why we want to win. Check is seen as the half measure, the prelude to glory...but checkmate proves to be a hollow victory, Pyrrhic. One simply becomes the king one once beheld, and accession means concession of the one thing power cannot confer - hope. Enthronement begins to look like entombment, and brings the realisation that it is not the winning, but the playing, that lends the game meaning.
Staring at the checkered landscape, Peregrine Man must check his surroundings, because in that marble offering lies the promise of other games, worlds beyond the black and white, hope, and sweet abdication...after all, what is a crown but the encirclement of imagination? What is checkmate but a dead end? But check…well, that is merely a reassessment of one's position, a place to shift direction, change strategy, and formulate a new path. But he musn't tarry, for the clock is ticking, and Time a fading king still capable of imposing checks and balances upon his ambition.
He has only to get up. The valley is long, but somewhere, perhaps just around the corner, awaits new meaning, new purpose. The marble is a blank check, if you will, whose value is determined by Peregrine Man’s willingness to walk.
A life in motion.
All of our stories are about freezing that motion at the best possible frame - victory - and the mistake is to chase that moment, forgetting that the chase is the whole story.