1450. This all happened long ago when it was still possible to slam a phone down into its holder with the acoustical effect of anger. Agnes, sitting at her place at the dinner table, burst into tears, tears of familial pride.
1451. That trip to the museum left a lasting impression. The room of dark paintings and the sculpture did not interest her, what she found most interesting was the prize winning painting in the annual show. To Agnes it was not exactly the gray painting that captured her imagination but the conversation she overheard about it. "How can it be," she wondered, "that a picture could be twice rejected, and then subsequently win first prize?"
1452. A child of ten believes that adults know all there is to know about everything, and a child of thirteen knows that adults are all idiots and wrong about anything they ever talk about. Usually, some time between ten and thirteen years of age, some event occurs to cause this revolution in thinking: for Agnes it was this conversation about the gray painting. It was a positive proof that all important adult decisions were based on nothing at all.
1453. "Why couldn't I," she wondered, "next year, paint a big picture all red, or all orange, and then win first prize myself," she asked. She did not enter the museum again for a few years except to view the annual exhibits, and finally she entered her first picture in the annual competition. She was fifteen years old at the time. She did not do an abstract painting however, and she did not expect to win any prizes.