Growing up in Nebraska, a common saying was, “Those wild Russians!” This was said in a tone of voice as to indicate a wildness, confusion at not understanding another culture, and admiration for Russians’ great energy, creativity, and spirit. I remember a few movies with Russians in a short scene, they were so much more interesting than all else and I always wanted the plot to change and follow THEM. Russian composers, their folk music and harmonies are my favorite. So I painted Prince Svyatoslav below. His conquests are in a tea cup, the cup being something he would not have used. He traveled light; no tent and ate his meat straight off the fire with no pots, pans, or tea cups involved. He didn’t listen when a well wisher told him of a plot against him so he was ambushed and killed.
Prince Svyatoslav’s energy reminds me of my friend who’s scrappy and told me the story of Four Spankings In One Day. Unlike the a fore mentioned prince, Margaret did listen to well wishers. It was around 1916 or so when her Mom left her for a while with a neighbor. Margaret sat her little self at the table and a nice big bowl of spinach was placed in front of her, but evidently spinach was not Margarete’s idea of a good lunch; she made a rude sound and threw her lunch against the woman’s wall! The woman, whom Margaret called Mother Gloria, spanked her and when Mother Gloria’s grown son came home from work he heard the story, and he spanked her too. Margarete’s Mom picked her up later in the day, heard the story and said the same as the others, “Do not disrespect your elders!” and spanked her a third time. When little Margarete’s father come home, you guessed it, she got the lecture and spanking. Now here’s the important part. I asked Margarete, “But do you like spinach?” My friend said, “Yes, now I love the stuff.” Listening, self reflection and change are good things. nancymauerman.com