Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lessons From a Three Year Old

There is an early morning Indian chant that goes like this:

whose day it is...

get out your rainbow colors so they may be beautiful!

Yesterday, as I was feeling adventurous, I thought I would try my hand at painting. Oh, how I envy painters who have the blessed ability to create the vision of their minds. It's the same way I feel about dancers who twirl, pivot, and smile on the right counts, with the coordination that I would die for. But the sad truth is, these talents are not mine; however, this is not to say that I cannot attempt to do these things or dabble in the possibility of the craft.

So, as I was saying...yesterday, in effort to explore new territory, I gathered the necessary supplies to begin my art piece. And this is what it should be called, right? A little piece of myself? Heavens, I hope not. The final product was a sad attempt at being anything but original and creative. I stroked for balance and made swirls--when in fact, I am not a circular motion type of girl. Simply put, I painted an atrocity. Only five minutes in and ready to cut and run, I glance over at my daughter and what she has been creating. I am stunned. There is no rhyme or reason to her strokes, no attempt to balance colors, motions, or shapes, just art. Her art. Creative, imaginative, and happiness in each stroke.

Although I am grateful to my daughter for her free-spirit and for the things she teaches me, I am disheartened at this plight; this sense of self-deprivation in the attempt to create perfection. Where is he that we try and impress? Who is she that we try and out do? Show me the outline for creativity. What criterion must we meet? Who stands ready to grade our attempts at the craft? The good news, friends, is no one. There is no one to whom we must submit our attempts; just the granting to ourselves, however so difficult, the self-appreciation for the progress and undaunted attempts at creating what we haven't yet explored.


Erin May 12, 2009 at 2:04 PM  

Beautifully beautifully said. You always write so well. Her art is so great! I wish we could have seen yours! I am betting that there is more beauty in it than you think.

Britt May 12, 2009 at 8:54 PM  


“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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