Every new day, at the break of dawn, I feel the fresh newness of the day. I ponder upon my creative arts, and a concept occurs to me. What can be done to a piece of canvas? What can happen to it?
You have a piece of canvas in your hand, bringing it inside from the car. Its pristine whiteness reflects the sun, as you trudge along in the mud. Your dog is excited to see you come home, and he runs to you at full gallop, jumping up on you and wagging his tail. His claws catch the fabric, and before you can do anything about it, he has trodden it into the soggy ground while he dances at your feet. What do you do?
You could give up on it, assuming it’s also torn from his claws, get real mad at the poor dog so he goes away with his tail between his legs. You’ve already had a bad day, so you stomp inside in a black mood. So much for mounting that on your easel for a new painting!
Or you could pick it up, and check it. Look, there are no rips or tears, miraculously. It’s just wet and dirty. Never the pessimist, you take it inside and rinse it out. It is only mud on there and it comes out easily. Now you lay it out nice and flat so it can dry.
You could also pick it up, see it is dirty and wet but not torn, take it inside and leave it on the sink to dry. The phone rings, it’s your chatty friend, and half an hour later you have forgotten all about the canvas on the sink. Later that day, you go to the kitchen to prepare for tea, and notice it. With a jolt, you remember leaving it there. You pick it up. It is stiff and crumpled, and the mud is now set like concrete. You know the type of mud around here is renowned for being stubborn, and wonder if you can rescue the canvas at all.
The canvas laid out flat to dry is nice and smooth, and ready to use.
The canvas that was given up on is now in pieces scattered around the yard. The dog had fun with it.
The canvas that was stiff and crumpled went through the wash, and came out clean.
The first canvas is set up perfectly on the easel.
The second canvas is shattered and broken and will not amount to anything. But it brought the dog joy.
The third canvas is being ironed as it is still crumpled.
The first canvas is lovingly treated with layers of paint in different colours. Some dark shades, some soft pastels, some bright colours. It becomes a beautiful picture to behold despite the darkness in it.
The third canvas is now set up on the easel, and needs to be stretched to fit.
The first canvas is carefully placed in an elegant frame, and taken to the gallery for display. People are inspired by it’s complexity and rare beauty.
The third canvas is now being painted in a random fashion.
The first canvas sells for a golden price and is very happy on it’s new wall.
The third canvas is now an interesting abstract image, and is taken to the gallery also.
When the third canvas is sold, it joins other paintings like itself and feels at home.
Life is just like a canvas. We are given a blank canvas, and we bring it life, or we tread on it, neglect it, take it for granted, let others paint on it, abuse it til it’s threadbare and torn, or set it on fire.
Like each step in a painting, so is life. The pencil outline is the plans we have, steps we have thought of to take us where we want to go. Then each and every stroke and brush mark each moment. Sometimes we make a mistake, so we correct it, or alter it so that it still fits in with the bigger picture. Sometimes we dwell on the mistakes, and the dark patches, so much so that we no longer can see the full picture. Sometimes we worry about the mistakes and darkness for a while, but do move on, only to find that as the picture grows, the errors and shadows morph into beautiful aspects of the image. They provide contrast, which creates a more interesting image. Contrasting experiences make our lives interesting, and serve us by showing us what we prefer.
The three canvases represent the outcomes of three different perspectives. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to be the first canvas!