The Dust of Despair – Robert Clements



If there’s dust on your windscreen start painting pictures lovelier than the originals. The thicker the dust the more beautiful they will be.


[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he other day a friend of mine sent me pictures of the back windows of cars thick with dust, but sketched on the thick dust were beautiful portraits by Scott Wade. When the dust gets thick on the back window of his Mini Cooper, Wade uses it as a canvas to create temporary works of art.

Among his creations was a copy of C.M. Coolidge’s ‘A Friend in Need,’ better known as dogs playing poker. Wade used his finger and other implements to etch this homage to Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ and Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa.’

Wade lives off the unpaved Roadrunner Road north of San Marcos, which dusts the back windows of his car and gives him the canvases to create his own works of art. A portrait of Kinky Friedman on the back of the Mazda driven by Wade’s wife, Robin Wood, was featured on the gubernatorial candidate’s Web site.

A collage of wildlife decorates the Mini Cooper’s window.

Wade’s creations attract admirers wherever he goes.

Who needs a frost-covered window when you’ve got road dust to create a Christmas scene? Besides his finger, Wade uses traditional art tools, such as paintbrushes, and unconventional ones, like a chewed Popsicle stick, to make his drawings.

Wade takes pride in his creations, though he knows that with one good shower, his work will just wash away.

As I looked with awe at these pictures created out of dust, I wondered how like life Wade’s creations are. We grumble, cry out and weep at the troubles and worries that fall thick over our lives, not realizing that beautiful portraits can be painted on them:

During the massacre of the Jews by Hitler, two friends found themselves together in a concentration camp. The whole camp, including the German guards knew they were the best of friends. One day, news came that some of them were to be transported to the gas chambers and all the prisoners were ordered to line up and number themselves.

“I want all the odd ones to step forward and the even numbers to stay put!” shouted the Nazi commandant.

The two friends looked at each other and when it came to their turn both stepped out and quarreled with each other that they were the odd ones out. The whole camp looked at the two and there was not a dry eye among the prisoners as the two friends tried to save the other from being killed. The story goes that even the stony guards wept and numbers were called out again and Simon was led off.

But suddenly in that horrible camp of death there was a new feeling; one of caring and compassion, as the inmates and guards realized they had witnessed a beautiful picture in the dust of despair!

Despair, disappointment, dejection make wonderful canvasses.

If there’s dust on your windscreen start painting pictures lovelier than the originals. The thicker the dust the more beautiful they will be.

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.


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