I never dreamed of traveling the world when I was a kid. I remember there was this sticker on the fridge of an artist hat with my face on it. While everyone else was watching TV, I would put newspapers on the floor where I planned to make a mess and took out all my paints and brushes. I stared on the blank canvas as if in a trance and all these different things would come flooding my mind.
I had this chance to enroll at art school one summer. I was only eight but I found it so interesting how my teacher made those strokes and turned it into a beautiful painting. Everyday, we had fruits or vases or plates set up on the table and spent the whole afternoon just painting them. At the end of summer, we had to submit our best composition. I picked the one with the vase. I can never forget the colors it had on. It was mostly yellow ocher.
The end of that summer was the end of art school but not really the end of art. Sometime before my dad passed away, he taught me how to paint a forest. He took a masking tape, cut a few strips and pressed them on the paper, positioning them vertically and unequally spaced from each other. We dipped a wet brush into a dark green color and smeared it across the paper. We let it dry for a bit and slowly removed the tapes. We then dipped the brush into a dark brown paint and filled in the white spaces. It was the most amazing thing I've seen. It probably won't look like a forest to anyone, but it did to me.
I still have my oil pastels with me but I rarely touch them now. If I had to touch them, I would do so to dust them off and feel them, but immediately I would put them back in place. It's been a very long time since I had the courage to paint and fill in every inch of that paper. I hate remembering the day my mom painted the most colorful bird I've ever seen and didn't finish it. It was as if I could feel her saying that she wish she could have painted more. The colors are still so vivid and I'm writing these memories as if they happened just yesterday.
I'm all grown up now and my dreams have evolved. My life has too. I have been brought to places I have never thought of visiting when I was much younger. Yet, I still find myself wishing I was a kid again and dream of colors and paints. I'm not really sure what I'm hearing but I'm wondering what could have been. I think I need to listen to my heart ever more carefully.