Entering for the first time, we saw a room, big and new, that smelled of newness and spare furniture; its most conspicuous feature was a series of brightly colored tiles covering most of the back wall. These followed no pattern my eyes could make out, but I was fascinated by them: it was as though, even then, my heart knew that art itself resides in the stories we imagine as much or more as any story explicitly told.
I wanted to be an artist.
Artists make entirely new things.
Things people enjoy for the things themselves.
Things that are intended to be used, but not used up.
Too many parts of life – things, moments, relationships – get used up.
I drew, colored and painted every spare moment, but art would not come.
There I am, sitting in a summer day camp class after fourth grade.
A woman is showing us how to make art out of driftwood.
Where we lived, driftwood was everywhere.
This was art, but not entirely new.
In fact, it was very, very old.
I still remember the smell and feel of it.
Driftwood taken from a timeless beach on the edge of forever.
You mix in other things pass by without noticing, and make beauty.
Not the beauty of perfection, but the glorious beauty of the commonplace.
There is a joy in simply noticing and taking in our surroundings.
Surroundings that simultaneously take us in, as well.
To both make, and be made, in the same moment.
To know that we are where life placed us.
Both artist and work of art.
Living tree and driftwood.
You want to be an artist.
The once-timid, the quiet girl.
Nights like this, her mind goes back
To life in Ecuador
When hot the purple sunset poured
Along the Playas shore
The once-timid, the quiet girl
Who left her home and kin
In search of grand adventure
And the life of touch on skin
And though she struggled, mightily
She loved her every day
For all the struggles, they were hers —
And she would make her way
Dominican by birth, and still
Dominican at heart;
The purple sunset memories turn
The paint begins to peel
Our stories start to fade
Our colors start to dim
Our fabrics degrade
But that can never mean
Though time be overriding
That paintings aren’t worth paint
A battles aren’t
Show the world what you’ve been feeling,
There are walls, but there’s no ceiling,
Hopes and fears with which your dealing,
Turn them into something more —
There is nothing small about you,
Show those who ignore or doubt you
All that is within, without you
Though you may be rich, or poor —
You are more than shows by seeing,
So by doing, show your being,
No more running, hiding, fleeing,
You’re no ornamental bird:
You’ve a voice that must
Colors are like touch, they can mean more
Than any words could say. When chosen well,
They may speak of the flags of ancient war
Of years ago, forgotten. Or may tell
Of pageantry, adventure, and romance –
The glorious and blazing sight of she
Or he, who braved the monster or the dance,
And kept throughout their great integrity.
Our favorite teams, or superheroes can
Always be told from others by the hues
In which they’ve long performed: woman or man,
Have colors known from helmets down to shoes.
Other times, though, it is understood
That colors just mean… colors. Which is good.
They drove through villages for hours, and he
Was just a boy, but still he watched, enthralled.
What seemed like sameness wasn’t so to him,
Like models come to life, this row of toys.
The roofs, the windows, factories, and spires,
The bits of grass and trees, the shops and cars,
The animals, the kids out playing football,
The houses, big and grand, or small and fine —
His eyes, so sharp, discerning, saw it all:
The artist loves much others might find dull