As a boy, he paints. He takes his colors and his canvases out into the garden and sits for hours by the flowerbeds, watching the butterflies make their dainty rendezvous on the lips of his mother’s red carnations. He traces the delicate flair of their bodies and labors over the brilliant shades of their wings; when he’s finally satisfied, he props the canvas up against the side of the house and waits for the paint to dry, and there he wastes away the afternoon, lying on his back among the ticklish flower stalks and counting the dust particles in the sunlight.
As a young man, he paints. He and his friends picnic on the Austrian mountainside, just so they can revel in the glory of youth. He brings out his colors and his canvases and sets about recreating the regal beauty of the Alps, but he is distracted. Maybe he is losing his painter’s vision, but the magnificent mountains seem like nothing compared to the girl picking blossoms in his peripheral vision.
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