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rachel & the idols | oil on panel

“Sometimes nuthin’ can be a real cool hand.” – Cool Hand Luke

Here’s another portrait for The Hunert Faces Project, sent to me by reader, Rachel. I liked this one because of its simplicity: a pretty girl and a glance backward. I bet a boy could create a hunert paintings and a hunert stories fromsomething as simple as that.

Do you know the story of Rachel and the idols? It’s one of those parables in the Bible. I don’t want to give the whole story away since there’s probably some copyright law or something, but this girl stole some idols from her dad and, with a backward glance, ran off with them. For a modern-day equivalent, imagine this chick snatching some dude’s Star Wars figures and putting them on eBay. Not cool. Her husband, an important figure wholly unaware that his wife was the thief, cursed and damned whomever took the idols. She gave them back, but being damned and cursed, later died in child birth. For another modern day equivalent, imagine a politician damning and cursing the damn gays and their damn desire for equal rights and then finding out his now-damned son is gay. Imagine a prison of your own damning prejudice. Imagine the damned irony, or its modern day equivalent, parable-ically speaking. And you may be wondering, “Death over a Star Wars figure? That’s messed up, like, biblical-kind of messed up.” But as they say, “Let the punishment fit the crime…” Which is sort of like the modern day equivalent of receiving five to twenty years behind bars for defrauding people out of billions of dollars and bringing a financial system to near collapse. Okay, I’m just kiddin’, that doesn’t really happen in this country. I meant, imagine receiving five to twenty years behind bars for possession of marijuana. Nuthin’ like some biblical-style justice to keep the criminals in line.

Thanks, Rachel, for the picture of that pretty lady glancing backward, taking something with her or leaving something behind. Whether intended or not, there’s a story in that glance – a whole world of possibilities, a lifetime of new beginnings and alternate endings. Right there, is a whole lotta story built on nuthin’.

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