I’ll be honest…I don’t know who these girls are. Or who this photograph might belong to. But since I first saw it, I’ve been taken with the outright joie de vivre captured here.
I think they remind me a little of my own daughters, who are all grown up now and have their own kids and never owned hula skirts – plastic, grass, or otherwise. But there was a time when laughter was the sound of the day, the week, the month.
When we get older, we get busy and anxious and serious with the demands of the day, the week, the month. When was the last time you got seriously goofy with a sibling or a friend? I hope you’re going to say, “Why, just last week,” but I’m not holding my breath.
Art is the place many of us get goofy after we’re all grown up, and I’ve become painfully aware of this the last month or so.
My life is changing. I’m busy and anxious and serious with the demands of a major move. It’s a move I want, but that doesn’t diminish the demands one little bit.
Worse, I’ve not had time to do any painting and it’s only been in the last few days that I’ve realized how this is affecting me. I don’t quite know how to describe it but it’s kind of like being young and watching all the other kids get to play and have fun while you have to stay inside and clean the house or do the dishes.
The world is out there full of light and flowers and trees and the sea and love, but in here, it’s all serious for now. I want to bust loose, dance, jump in the car and head to my new home even for a day or so because it’s so beautiful there.
I want to drop the bureaucracy and concerns about packing and get going on a big canvas in all the colors I love so much. I want to kiss my sweetheart like there’s no tomorrow. I want to laugh like the girls in that picture.
I want to remember that I’m an artist and that it brings me more joy than anything I’ve ever done. I want the comfort and energy of the paint. I want to remember exactly what I mean when I say, “Color is an animal that wags its own tail.”
I don’t want to shed my responsibilities in this adventure. I just want them in perspective. Or as E.E. Cummings once wrote, “…the goal of living is to grow/forgetting why, remember how…”
Everything has to get done. I know that. But I want to do some growing, too…growing as a woman, growing as a partner and lover, growing as a daughter of God, growing as a new resident in a foreign land.
But more than anything, growing as an artist. It’s who I am. (And I definitely want a grass skirt!)