Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'll paint with words

I can paint a picture with pen or the tap of keys. I can trace my brain from translucent lines, titling it a memory.  Give me color. Give me emotion. Give me greens and blues and the yellows of the wheat fields and that is when the page will soar. . .when I'm wide eyed and accept the words that follow. There are colors that don't even have a name, some so deep, so dark they blend in with the purples of the heart. What if I spend my days searching? Will I call myself a writer then?

I watch my children write. They draw hieroglyphics, pictures of happy suns and flowers with petals as long as the page is wide. They beg me for a pen and their fingers smile as they trace thoughts, those images that dance around. Everything they draw is love, is joy, is good enough. My four year old thinks that the perfect cloud hangs on a page drawn with black ink. The flowers in her mind are pink but when She writes them down she tells me,

"They look different Mommy."

A moment later she decides she doesn't care and she starts to draw more black flowers with un-rounded edges.

Lately, I start to write and it comes softly where is use to overflow....tired or dark or different from what I had in mind. Instead of accepting it, I run away.  Isn't this the thing...to write and write and see where it takes me, see what it teaches me. To open up heart and name those colors.

My edges aren't always round when they should be but that is life and that is me. I am done with the self loathing.  I could spend a hundred years claiming "not good enough" and another hundred trying to be, but that is a waste of color and that is when I stop writing

and I never want to stop writing .

i'll paint you a memory
summer was sweet
it blew kisses on  the breeze
the air was thick and moist
and i remember
there was a girl there
she was little,
dark hair and eyes that matched
she bent over and picked up a blade,
grass from a field in Montana
the caterpillar hung on, clutching tighter
and she twirled it over in her hands
and when she puckered up to kiss it
i yelled, "NO!"
and she jumped,
smiles turned to laughter
and the caterpillar breathed . . .

*When i was 12, we took a vacation and stared at fields. As Dad talked about Little Bighorn and 7th Calvary charging, I saved my baby sister from kissing a caterpillar.

Linking up with Emily @ in the hush of the moon for Imperfect Prose on Thursdays

18 comments:

emily wierenga said...

oh alexis... this is absolutely beautiful. i've missed you, and keep thinking of you... i hope you'll share this with the imperfect community. it's perfect. :) xo

Annie said...

Hi Alexis,
Everything about this post is beautifully written, from your opening, to your word painting of a special memory. There are so many poetic thoughts expressed in your narrative- believe me, the words are there, the color and the emotion. Please don't be afraid to share them, because words that come from the heart are always perfect. I'm glad you shared your daughter's approach to drawing. We have so much to learn from them when they are in their early years.

-t- said...

the caterpillar breathed :}

you breathe too, imperfect prose friend :)

Leslie said...

I love the poem. I love the image of your daughters drawing, knowing "Everything they draw is love, is joy, is good enough."

Barb said...

Color spills from your mind and trickles into mine by way of your writing. I know you'll never stop creating - it's an important part of who you are. Write for yourself and be perfectly imperfect as we all are. Your children teach a valuable lesson: it is "good enough" to find what is in your mind and heart and to share it. Your poem makes me laugh - I see your little sister, the blade of grass, the caterpillar, AND I hear the laughter. Stay well Alexis.

Brian Miller said...

and the caterpillar breathed...lol. love it. writing is in my blood...if you took it away, i dont know what would be left...smiles. but one day i may have to.

Wanda..... said...

Your color has many hues, Alexis...warm, soft and bright! Your words make one "feel"!

Ostriches Look Funny said...

Your sister sounds like Ainsley.
I am glad you are back. I know how hard it is to be back. I know.

Don't be afraid.
You are enough.

elizabeth said...

I came here from Emily's and opened your blog anticipating and left smiling as I knew I would!
Elizabeth
http://www.justfollowingjesus.com

Jodi said...

Thank God you're back!!!! I've so missed your prose, words, gift, heart. love you , Alexis ox don't stop.

joanny said...

You paint beautifully, love the caterpillar,
lovely post, nicely written -- perfect prose.

cheers,
joanny

homekettle said...

Writing (or feeling) poetic thoughts is harder with a child on one's arm. I miss solitude, but I have infinitely more material now. Thanks.

LauraX said...

oh my dear...ALL CREATIVE BEINGS, which in my opinion is everyone...goes through periods of feeling stuck...sometimes it is simply the Muse Lull, reminding us to take time to give and love ourselves with the deep compassion we offer to others...when we learn this, and it is an ongoing process...then we open to the flow of Divinity and our creativity cannot help but spill forth from Source. I'm a Kaizen-Muse creativity coach...if you are feeling like coaching might be helpful let me know, ok??? I don't usually advertise in other people's comment boxes...but I thought maybe a free session might help you see your beauty so you can do what you love and fully BE the human you are...my website is www.shinethedivine.com

gentle steps

ps sorry if this seems obnoxious...I truly am reaching out with generosity...not trying to hook in a new client :)

emily wierenga said...

yay, you linked! i've missed you.

alittlebitograce said...

oh i loved this! and it made me laugh, the almost kissed caterpillar. :)

Southern Gal said...

I just had to come by to tell you that my son, 8, has been crying all evening because his favorite chicken (rooster), Penguin, died today. His granddaddy told him and it broke his heart. Made me think of you and this post. Now I'm off to comfort a heartbroken little boy whose "favorite chicken" is not in the hen house anymore.

deb said...

it was an honour to read this.

magicinthebackyard said...

I am just ecstatic that I've found your blog! Some beautiful pieces of work here and they are just what I love to read! Real, human, honest and endearing. I will be back often! :)