Life. We’ve heard it before, it’s not about the finished work, but the individual strokes that created the finished piece. That doesn’t make things easier to swallow. Because sometimes you have to see the finished piece, so you know where to lay that first drop of ink.
There has to be a vision, somewhere, somehow, to get you moving in the first place. Especially when life locks your soul up in a cold, dark basement. It’s the chicken and the egg. What comes first? Movement or direction? Doing or being inspired? Some days it’s neither, some days it’s both. Like moving a huge piece of furniture, where you ease it forward, moving one corner forward at a time. Doing. Living. Doing. Living.
And it’s all so exhausting. The pushing and the pulling. The constant reminders of mortality. The mistakes. The blemishes. The still having so much to learn, and do. And the overwhelming need to have a fresh, new, blank canvas to start all over again. Because if I only knew what I know now…
Had I known…
Perhaps I wouldn’t have cared so much about the masterpiece.
Maybe I would have held onto those scrap pieces of time. Those scribbles in my life…
Maybe I wouldn’t have left so many blank pages lying around.
Yet it’s the masterpiece that drags me back up off the floor. The need to get somewhere better than here, better than the now. My blessing and my curse. The delicate lines drawn by the fragile lives, and tear stained water colors. The need to make this life beautiful once again, not in spite of the hurt, but because of it. To always remember.
And to accept the here, right now, is where I’m supposed to be. Today is my Masterpiece.
The education system made me a day dreamer. 5 days a week, almost 8 hours a day, sitting at a boring little desk with nothing more than a book, a notebook and a pen. What did they expect to happen? My mother will tell you that SHE expected me to learn whatever the teacher was trying to teach, I tell her that she’s always had crazy expectations.
I didn’t do well in school. I complained in kindergarten that cutting straight lines in paper wasn’t really art… I flunked cutting, and I still cannot cut straight lines. In first grade I discovered doodling around the neat little holes on loose leaf paper. Then by fourth grade, when we were allowed spiral notebooks, pens and highlighters… well, it was all over for me.
Parent Teacher conferences always went the same way, “She scores incredible on her standardized testing, she’s just not interested in school.” Or as my mother translated it, “I could do it if I wanted to.” I obviously didn’t want to.
It was always about creating for me. Always. Sketches, stories, poems, tunes that floated in my head. They were always my escape, and my control. When signs of anxiety started gripping me in the mid teens I quickly found relief in pen and paper, it didn’t matter what the pen was doing, as long as the ink flowed across the paper.
I only ever shared my sketches with others. Words were so personal, too intimate, too easy to judge. Art was easier to hide behind and didn’t send viewers looking too deep.
But as I grew older and filled my school time with family, the sketches took too much time and quickly became replaced with words. Words were quick, easy to jot down and took up less space. (Just don’t tell my High School art teacher, she’ll track me down and shoot me, lol) And words can pay bills, well hopefully one day they’ll pay the bills…