What Can’t You Do?
July 17, 2017
One month ago from this Wednesday I started a watercolor class with absolutely no expectations. In fact, I really wanted to take it just to be with David, because I knew he would really enjoy it. I wanted to share the joy of creating with him. As I started to paint, something inside began to bloom. An old urge, something that I had stifled from the past started to merge with the present.
At one point in high school, one of my paintings had been hung in the hallway. I didn’t think much of it. But as I look back, I don’t remember much talent being shown in that special glass case for student accomplishments. It was a simple piece of art. I looked in front of me and began to paint the entrance to the art closet. I got the point of view correctly, and what was inside was all in shadows. My art teacher, one of my cheerleaders from the past, probably saw that I was struggling with being gay, even when I didn’t realize it. My first painting was a picture of a closet. She didn’t know that I would hide in the closet in my bedroom because I was so scared of my life as a child. Oddly enough, the closet was the only safe place in the house. So, yes, it was hard to come out.
As I began to paint my first painting, it was as if I was just following the exact directions of the art teacher. I didn’t use my own instinct. I used his tools and his expertise. The result is still my favorite piece of work.
I posted it on Facebook and everyone began to say, “Bo, what can’t you do?”
I have continued to paint almost every day as a joyful therapy. Again, I have no reward but the joy I get putting brush to paper and letting the creative light of God shine through me with a rainbow of colors. With each piece, David and I are both attracting a bit of a following. We have even began doing art together. I sometimes will get to a stopping place on a piece, and David will see the end and finish it as in the Buddha below and hearts. I gladly hand some paintings over to him without the slightest bit of care.
Today, a month later, we hung all of the work up on wooden partitions (it filled the back and front) in the middle of our living room. We stood next to it as the sun came in from the lakeside and gazed at our creation in amazement.
Dave and I have never been into the three major sports: football, baseball, and basketball, so neither of us have any sense of aim when it comes to throwing a ball. We even started to practice throwing a ball in the swimming pool when no one is around. We laugh at how bad we are at it. Then yesterday evening, we realized that we were catching the ball and throwing at each other, not at the chair by the entranceway or at the lizard passing by.
Life takes practice. You simply can’t be afraid to try. If anything interesting presents itself to you, simply say YES!
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