Remembering Parts of Myself

Once there was a girl whose world was contained by canvas and paper. She painted in layers, with transparencies and highlights, creating vignettes into her mind. Little feminine, lacy things were what she loved most. Lady bugs and leaves. Fairy children and waterfalls. Landscapes with velvety mountains and sage. When she couldn’t paint, she drew. She drew her inner eye, what only she could see. A whole world caught in seaweed. Underground villages where mice had built homes. Pages upon pages of hands holding different imaginary objects. When she could do neither she observed the world and contemplated how to artistically replicate what she saw.

Then that girl grew into a young woman. She fell in love, and moved across half an ocean to live on an island with her new husband. Slowly, life pushed out the art that she had loved. Her husband got out of the military and met a hard transition back to civilian life. She moved back to the mainland, and her life filled up with children and managing a home and running a small postpartum business.

And then, for the first time in years, the woman was struck with inspiration for a painting. A big painting. An ambitious painting. One that her rusty skills were not ready to tackle. So, she started small. A warm up. Stretching muscles that had not been used since she had gotten pregnant with her first baby over 8 years ago. It felt good. So good. Like putting on the perfect worn in pair of pants that have been in the back of your drawer, left in favor of trendier albeit more uncomfortable slacks. As she painted, she started to remember. Remembered how to mix her palate, how to under paint, how to glaze and scumble, how to bounce light. How to get the paint to sing for her. She remembered. She remembered this part of herself, and it was glorious.

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