A friend has been challenging me to express myself. “Just tell a story. Show, don’t tell. Don’t tell us how to think about what you are saying. Do it like your painting.”
And I’m thinking – “my painting isn’t any such thing. It’s just my painting. It’s not some emotion expressed that I’m not expressing otherwise. It’s not exposing something I’m hiding.”
Well, maybe I’m not hiding but he’s right about the expression part. I look at this painting of the horses – running side by side – it’s rather ecstatic isn’t it? And it’s not that I don’t express ecstasy. I think I do. But not in my writing. At least not steadily, not generally. All my life people have asked me questions, starting with my parents when they weren’t ignoring or putting me down for how I looked, they were asking my opinion.
Geesh! I’ll be in a city I’ve never been in. Someone will come up and ask me where something is. What train or route to take. What is it that tells them I might know? I’ve never figured that out.
So I usually feel I have something to say. I’ve always read copious amounts of book, magazines, gone to lectures. Once my oldest daughter’s teacher asked her second grade class to list the magazines her family subscribed to. I was embarrassed at the long list. But it was great for Trivial Pursuit. And I thought of it as just that, trivial.
But here I am again. Telling you what to think. I started by looking at this photo of a painting that sits behind me. I never fail to see new places in it. I never get tired of seeing the movement, the colors, the swishing tails.
So I think he is right. I’ll swish my tail writing. It’s what I’ve been doing of late.
It really did break me open to hear Obama’s inaugural address. To hear myself in the mix of his fundamental rights, his agenda and his blessing. I am blessed and I feel it.