From the Projects to Picasso

As I sit on my balcony in beautiful Newport Beach California after practicing Transcendental Meditation, I almost have to pinch myself.  I am in one of the most beautiful places in the world -with sandy beaches that seem to go forever surrounded by breathtaking rolling hills.

It wasn’t that long ago that when I sat on anything, it was most likely something my mother trash picked. When I was a kid we used to have trash picking days in different neighborhoods. Sometimes I reluctantly would go with my mom. It seems that almost everything in our tiny state-subsidized apartment came from other peoples’ trash. Now I knew we were poor and was slightly embarrassed by what my mom did. But the crazy thing is we picked nice stuff!  I remember one time my mom actually trash picked a sterling silver platter that was worth a couple hundred bucks. Someone just threw it out. My first pair of skis came from the trash. Yeah skis, that was the only way I could possibly go skiing with skis picked from the trash.

I have always been a fan of artistic people from photographers to painters. I even dabbled in the photography game years ago. Over the past few years I have really become to appreciate art more. I am in awe of how someone can take a blank canvas and then project from their mind through their body and onto the canvas artwork that causes grown men to weep and allows little kids to imagine what is possible.

Last night in the lobby of my palatial hotel there was an impromptu art showing. I had no intention of buying art, but there were a few pieces that jumped out at me. One was by the world famous Pablo Picasso.  Now these weren’t originals, but they also weren’t prints. These were lithographs, which is essentially a reproduction process done by the artists themselves. I am an art novice so I won’t pretend to act like I understand the whole process. Regardless, this was a Picasso – a 20th century artistic genius whose paintings have sold for over 100 million dollars and inspired countless artists around the world. Here I was, a kid who not too long ago was eating bologna sandwiches and grilled cheese made with state cheese for dinner, actually considering buying a Picasso.

The crazy thing about this story was that not only did I love the painting, but I had the means to buy it. It hit me so hard. In my head I said to myself that anything is possible. If you really want to achieve something, take it from a kid from the projects who has ASKED more out of myself, anything truly is possible. You really can get that college degree, you can buy that nice car, you can get that new house, you can live the life you dream of. You just need to ASK MORE.