Colorful companion to my memoir The Incompetent Psychic

Archaeological Reconstruction of Etruscan Fresco 2020

One of Tony’s fellow aspiring archaeologists returned from an expedition in southern Italy. They had uncovered the ruins of a guard tower from the Etruscan civilization back before Romulus and Remus invented Rome. In that guard tower was a crumpled fresco. The plaster pieces were covered with artwork in a child-like style — a hundred broken bits the size of jig saw pieces. They seemed to depict parts of a village, woodlands and the sea. Each shard had been photographed and I got the job to recreate the mural by filling in how it might have looked, using the broken plaster clues as starting points.

I knew that primitive style. I remembered the people, the fish and the foliage as they were magically recreated. It had been a past life rich in creativity and abundance, and I wanted it in this life as well. I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to happen in Ithaca, New York. — From Chapter 4

This illustration is a recreation of my recreation. The rendering I did in 1978 is lost to a previous century, as is so much of my early art. The cost of cameras, film and developing was beyond my budget for many years. As a break from editing my memoir last summer, I hung out on my porch in the woods of Woodstock with my chihuahua and colored pencils. Drawing this image a second time four decades later reconnected me with that warm, abundant Etruscan lifetime. This time the satisfaction that I’ve accomplished so much was a feeling more serene than that long ago first version when I longed for so much.

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