A closet full of clothes..and not a single thing to wear.
A refrigerator full of food..and nothing at all good to eat.
A life of experiences..and not anything at all to say.
A blank page staring back at me…awaiting my words to fill it. With something. With a story. With my truth. With my ‘art’. Dare I say it out loud? Dare I whisper? Dare - I do.
It was during a recent visit to my local art store that I found myself surprisingly lost in a maze of endless possibility.
Oil paints to my right..acrylics to my left. Paintbrushes at the end of the long aisle. Beautiful textured..patterned papers. Clay and glass and yarn. Sketchbooks. Soft charcoal pencils and colored pens. Pastels and crayons..and more.
Like a kid finding herself in a candy shop for the very first time, I found myself seduced by its promise of creativity. Mesmerized by the unknown prospects and all of that untapped potential..I walked each aisle.
A new journey. A new imagining.
Dreaming of what I might do..who I might be – if I only dared to try. Minutes became hours. I gently caressed each of the soft brushes..tasted the colors..smelled the oil paint…and began to see where I might begin and how.
Beginning. We were all beginners once. We all have a first time. A first start. A defining moment when we take that first step. Now would be as good a time as any. To begin with a beginner’s mind..to know for certain that I know nothing at all.
A blank canvas beckons. Perhaps a wash of color..followed by layers of textured papers..and then a splash of brightly colored paint? Perhaps – a few words? Perhaps – no words at all? My hands would find themselves covered in paint and glue. A sticky..colorful mess. Perhaps - a handmade book? Perhaps – a hand-painted photograph? Perhaps an abstract piece that was created for no good reason at all? With no agenda. With no rules. With nothing other to do..than this.
I wander. I wonder. I question those self-defeating thoughts....those voices that echo repeatedly in my head.
I’m not an ‘artist’. How dare I be so bold and so brazen as to even think of myself as such. What would make me even consider such a possibility?
And then –what iff I did? What iff I dared to wear that crown..the one that I have so convinced myself is not for me? And– what iff my canvas is the world around me..my camera the brushes with which I paint? Or what iff I dipped my fingers and heart and soul into something totally new?
Who would I be?
What is it that defines and labels me? And – who is to say what makes an artist..and what an artist makes? And - what iff I fail? Or – even worse – what iff I succeed? And then – who is it who is grading me pass/fail? Only me. The sound of my own voice limiting me..telling me what I can and cannot do...dictating who I can and cannot be
At times – it’s the decision making and permission granting that is the hardest part. Someone tell me what. Someone tell me who. Someone tell me when and where. If I knew which clothes – today – were the right ones..I’d surely find them in my closet to wear. If I knew what food it is I’m craving.. I’d no doubt find it to eat.
It's never-ending. This journey and process of re-assessing. Just when I think I’ve got it figured out ..I find that I really haven’t.
The blank page beckons. Lost in the aisles..and found.
With my camera swinging from my shoulder…I looked down at my cart - now loaded with textured linen papers, paints, pens and pastels. And the blank page that was so eagerly staring back at me is now filled with my doodles and dreams.