On a random afternoon my dad knocked on my door holding a dark blue cloth bag. He handed it to me and simply said ‘Look inside.’ I spent the rest of the afternoon digging through the contents, assorted papers from grade school. Among my findings were imaginative adventure stories like what my life would be like as a spider. There were book reports that in the reflection section I said, “I couldn’t put the book down.” There were crayon and pencil drawings that I remember being so excited to make and when finished, proud to share. I was a writer, a reader and an artist.
I wrote because I had stories in my head that had to get out! I read because I craved knowledge and have always been intrigued by a good story. I created art because I loved everything about it. The crisp clean paper, the act of opening a box of crayons, being engulfed in the smell of Crayola waxy goodness and discovering the new colors like jungle green and strawberry field. I would find my way around a piece of paper, it was home.
Fast forward to today. I still read, but it’s snippets of magazines and blog posts on my iPhone at a stop light. I still write, but it’s emails and rewriting poorly written sales copy. No longer is any kind of art a part of my daily, weekly or even monthly life. And I wonder where this low rumbling of dissatisfaction comes from.
A wave a guilt washes over my for feeling this way. My life is good and filled with many blessings. And yet there’s this feeling that gnaws at me, that reminds me something is missing. The sound doesn’t roar, but it’s constant like a low steady buzzing. I feel unsettled. I move from my gut to my brain because analyzing is my default. My analytical brain is what got me here.
I remember I was once a writer, a reader and an artist and hope to find my way back to that feeling and that confidence. So I start creating art and realize that my feet have left the ground. My spirit soars and tumbles and and cries out:
I cannot be caged anymore. There are important things to be made, ideas to be explored, paintings to paint, doodles to draw, chapters to write. I heard you crying and came to check on you. You said you missed me and asked me how it was that I could ever leave you. But, I was never lost. I was hiding in your pocket because that’s where you put me. You told me to wait, you had more important things to do, grown up things. Things like being really serious and you didn’t have time to play anymore. But when I saw how sad you were and how you couldn’t smile with your eyes I started tapping you on your shoulder. I called out to you but you were too busy. You had more of those important adult things to do like emails to send and you were always rushing around very straight faced and busy. I knew that you really needed me. I’m sorry I had to scream and kick to get your attention, but I’m glad you listened. With love, the artist that you are.
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