On Friday I posted on my Facebook status, “John is getting up the gumption to paint again. It is scary like 7 year old thunder storm scary.” The hardest part is getting started again especially when the painting sitting unfinished on my easel is not working the way I hoped.
When I was a kid my Grandmother (the creative one) had themes that she would repeat to me. Only when I got older did I understand what they met. One theme was: Go West Young Man. When I got in my teenage and college years I understood, she was saying, “follow your dreams.” or something close. Another theme was the nursery rhyme, “Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn, the sheep’s in the meadow, the cow’s in the corn. Where is the boy who looks after the sheep? Under the haystack fast asleep.” Was it just a nursery rhyme? Yes but, it was also along the same theme as Go west! Don’t let life slip by.
Whenever I face possibility of picking up the brush again I feel a fear that is just enough to push painting out of my mind while school, or grad school, or life is happening, the fear of the un-built canvas. If I don’t have any canvases built it is like a paralyzing feeling because I can’t reach down, pick up the next painting and rush head long into it without thinking about the unknown. Deciding that I have to build them and committing to doing it is like another of my grandmother’s theme’s, The Flying Trapeze. She would sing the song and later I would think about how the amazing thing about the trapeze is the letting go of what you have and reaching out and grabbing for what you have to have faith will be there.
Going out to build those canvases is like reaching for that trapeze. I know the bar will be there, I know the paintings will come but I have to let go first and trust in the unknown future.