April 11, 2014 by Ray Yanek
Jan van Eyck, Man in a Red Turban (1433)
Here’s the thing–I’ve had a long week, as I’m sure many of you had. I had a long night, albeit a good night, and I have a long weekend on tap.
Somethings have gone well, others maybe not quite so much.
I’m tired; it’s late.
And then I came across this painting, purely as a result of serendipity. Some believe that this painting is a self-portrait of van Eyck. One of the reasons people believe this is because van Eyck’s personal motto appears on the frame. That motto reads “Als ich chan” which translates to “the best that I am capable of doing”.
As a father, a husband, a writer, and a teacher that’s a good motto for me to adopt. I need to ask myself, especially on those days when I’m overwhelmed and irritable, if the self-portraits that I create to share with the world are truly the best that I am capable of doing.
Also, I need to ask myself constantly if I really am doing the best that I am capable of in regards to all those things that are important to me.
If I can say yes then, win or lose, successful or disaster, it was a damn good day.