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Neil M. Perry - The Prodigal


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12" x 16",  Acrylic on Panel 

The Prodigal 

Returning to and passing through familiar lanes in the town of his youth the prodigal recalled the day he set out upon this journey. Long before he had befriended the white hounds, who now acted as his guides in wilderness, he had walked these unassuming streets, drunk countless drinks in these now shuttered pubs and expressed his yearning for a world beyond these walls. When he announced he would be leaving there were many who wished him well though not all, he suspected, did so genuinely. There’s an unspoken dialogue when one person tells another of their departure for somewhere new that lies beneath the friendly utterances. One party silently conveys that perhaps you’ve ideas above your station and the place you live. The other party agrees but would never admit it. Upon leaving he was met at the edge of the town by an elder in robes, who was the first person to state this communal accusation aloud. “Young man” he exclaimed “he who does not walk with his own people, walks alone”. Giving no reply he forged ahead, stepping beyond the borders of the town. “…and he who does not know his home” the elder continued “will not walk toward a great dream as a man, but through an endless wilderness as a gilded beast in exile”. Now there are no dialogues here. No polite exchanges with which to avoid the uncomfortable truth or dark and transformative curses cast about by shamanic townsfolk. The silence is broken solely by the sound of hooves on concrete.`