2612. It was not many weeks before the master again crept up on his student and, setting himself in a firm position with his feet spread wide apart he put the bamboo pole up over his head and prepared to give his student some more instructions, but as the pole began to cleave the air the student ducked and slipped aside and avoided the blow. Three years had now gone by, and this is what the student had now learned.
2613. It does not matter how strong you are, or how hard
you can strike, how fast you can move or how smart you think you are,
all that matters is, can you avoid the blow.
2614. What has this simple story to do with Faldoni? This
is how it is connected. After an entire year of painting faces one
after another he had, without ever being aware of it, developed a very
fine and discriminating visual awareness. He began to see things other
people would never see. He had made no effort to become so observant, it
was just a natural development and consequence of the task he had set
2615. If all this time he had been painting pictures of apples and oranges on tables, or pictures of flowers in vases on fireplace mantles, I do not think it would have made any difference in his abilities as an artist. It was the curious choice of the face as a subject that made the difference.