monday manifesto: becoming like a child


i remember asking for art kits when i was very young...the nice rows of colored pencil, pastels, and chalk within a black book were oh so pretty to my 7-year-old eyes. those art kits were always on my birthday and christmas lists (along with a puppy and a pony, of course). i remember getting one. maybe i got more than one. but i would have liked to get even more than that, i'm sure.
my older sisters were artists. good ones too. they won awards, and i remember going to see them on display. i wanted more than anything to have them show me how to use color on a to paint pretty things (probably a pony). but, they were soon busy with college and marriage. though i desparately wanted art lessons i tried to understand that my sisters were very busy women, carving out their futures and their own beautiful lives independent of family.
with my chance for free art lessons out of the house, i stopped drawing. i had forgotten all of this until yesterday.
yesterday cj gave me my first painting lesson. my first strokes like colors on a playground: blue, red, yellow, green. very simple. then i started mixing paint...not knowing what colors i would get. then i just started painting. why was i so shocked when i painted what i did?
it was a tree. with birds in the sky and grass on the ground. at first i thought i was drawing a tree because i love them more than anything. but as i continued painting and i realized exactly what i had done i was overcome with tears. i used to draw this scene all the time when i was young and hoping for art lessons: tree to the left side of the paper, m-shaped birds in the sky, blades of grass at the foot of the tree. i went right back to my 7-year-old self. i unkowingly picked up right where i had left off.
i cleaned out my brushes, watching the colors wash down the drain. cj showed me where everything goes when painting is over for the day. i stepped back into our "studio" and looked at my painting. i slowly walked over to ceej, gave him a hug, while still looking at my reddish tree against a greenish sky. its spirit brought my heart's tears through my eyes. i had to tell him. "i love my painting. i think it's really good." and i do. i am well aware that it is no great work of art, but i love it because i'm still painting my childhood beauty. trees. grass. birds. i'm going to frame it and hang it in my bedroom where i will awake each day to its simple beauty, and a reminder that i can do whatever my good dreams have shown me.
we often hear that we should become as little children because they are humble and meek. but i think that to become like a child also means to let go of fears, let go of judgement (especially of ourselves), and to put your heart out there. this i believe.


Dee said...

I love this! And your picture is beautiful! When I try this there will be a very elementary rainbow with a cloud on each end and the sun peeking out from it, with the m-shaped birds, ha ha! My daughter wants art lessons so badly and keeps asking why I don't help her to draw a pony. It's because I don't know how, I say. Time for both of us to take a class together! Thanks for the inspiration!

vik said...

ooh, your picture really IS beautiful. and inspiring.
thank you for your blog!