If Looking Back as an Eighty-Year-Old

Makes You Happy

Royal Barriere Hotel in Deauville, France
Royal Barriere Hotel in Deauville, France

Surrounded by the opulent wealth and magnificent setting of the Royal Barriere Hotel in Deauville, France two eighteen-year-old tennis partners, myself and California’s Chris Lewis, were discussing our futures. The French Tennis Federation put us up there and to play in a small tournament that had four of the French Davis Cup players competing. Chris and I beat their No. 2 team and lost in the finals. Not bad. In our lavish bedroom Chris wished to make a lot of money and live this type of lifestyle. I, on the other hand, shrugged it off, and I committed then and there to accept that a poverty-ridden life lay ahead–but I would have the luxury of time to paint everyday. And if I looked back at my life choices as an 80-year-old I would be happy.

Both our aims came true. Back then I knew some great artists make it in their time, like Michelangelo, and others die in obscurity only later to be “discovered”, like Van Gogh. What I did not anticipate is that my quest for humanism in art, for advancements in technique, and for psychological wisdom would pit me against the anti-human art culture of money launderers, CIA machinations, and emotionally retarded power brokers.

Undeterred, I managed to paint everyday.

Michael Newberry, Idyllwild, 5/21/2021