My husband can draw. My sons can draw. I can’t.
I don’t know how old I was when I discovered this sad fact. But one day, I realized that my pictures didn’t look like they were supposed to. So I gave up.
When my husband was a young boy at school, the only thing he remembers about his art teacher was the day he looked up to see him taking out a large, black, permanent marker from his jacket pocket as he bent over to ask my husband a question about what he was drawing.
What’s that Nellist? He said, pointing to his picture.
It’s a cloud, sir. David replied.
Oh, I see, the teacher sniggered.
Then he promptly took his big, black, permanent marker and drew a large, ugly arrow across the sky, accompanied by a label that read: A CLOUD.
Fortunately, my husband survived that scar. He is, in fact, a wonderful artist.
My grandson, at four years old, is a wonderful artist too. Totally uninhibited, he picks up the pen and creates life on the page. No-one has told him that rain is not purple, or that buds on one tree cannot possibly be multi-colored. He is not yet scarred by perfectionism, or skepticism, or the idea that he cannot draw. He simply draws.
In his picture, we are enjoying large blue lollipops together.
There’s the merest sprinkling of rain, but the sun is peeking out from behind the clouds, drawn by Grandma, as per his instructions.
And center stage is his masterpiece…. a tall tree in spring, like the one we looked at outside my window, bursting with buds, and perfect in promise. It fills the entire page from the green of the grass to the blue of the sky. And If you look closely, you can see the multi-colored buds curled, like they are holding a secret; waiting to be opened.
There’s a song in his picture. And color. And hope. And two cars, because his little four-year old world always has wheels in it.
And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all live in that four-year old world, where buds on trees are multi-colored, and lollipops are huge, and there is no scarring, or labeling, or teachers with permanent markers in their pockets, just waiting to scribble on our dreams?
And I think everyone needs a picture like my grandson’s….pinned on their fridges, helping to remind them of sunshine
and new life
and the promise of spring,
even when there’s rain.
There are always flowers for those who want to see them. Henri Matisse