Never Put it Down
Letter to the Young One,
Like you and all who came before, I was born happy. The world, my canvas, ready for me to add any of the plethoras of colors waiting on my palette of potential. Over time, I began working on this painting. Having spent countless hours learning new strokes and observing how the paint reacted to different techniques, the very moment I put brush to canvas, I knew this was going to be a masterpiece unlike any paintings past.
Seeing the size of the canvas, as well as the value in co-creation, I began to allow others to assist in covering this blank expanse of unfilled potential. What a joy it was to have artists of every caliber flock to provide their perspective. From novice to master, so many came that fructified my mural and its message. Equally so, came the vandals that would have my work defaced, slathering and smearing offensive colors over tedious brushwork. I felt overwhelmed with grief because my carefully orchestrated vision was slowly dismantling before me, with new layers of Chaos grafted atop it. In an effort to promulgate fluidity and freedom, I opened the floodgates and the walls crashed like a seaside hotel facing off with a tsunami.
28 years later I look at this canvas and find a sense of peace. Somewhere in the Chaos, I find a line drawn through time. A change in focus brings about a different sense of order amidst the randomness. I can see the changes in artists, through the flow of time, through the shifts in mood, and through the fluctuations in feeling, and clearly see where it was my steady hand that led, and when I gave way to a higher power. Each time I look, the work speaks to me, showing growth and maturity, expressing knowledge gained that I then transform, and transmit as wisdom.
I’ve become an artist like no other. With the skill and experience needed to give this piece mass appeal, but the courage enough to let the painting evolve on its own terms with its authenticity intact. It speaks to each eye in different dialects, yet nevertheless communicates the same eternal Truth. It brings tears to the hardest of men, and excitement to most unimpressed, and will make them both cry, smile, and laugh in one sitting. A priceless wall of covered canvas, seemingly never-ending, with new corners to be filled every day. I continue on this everlasting quest in search of new hands. To learn from their form and adopt their technique in hopes to one day to build a house where this work can rest and bring joy to all those I love. For you, a house worthy of your art is a certainty, so my far-flung hopes for you are futile in the face of my insight:
Never let the blind pick up your brush, only to waste the most vibrant colors on your palette. It doesn't take eyes to see your warm hues, nor ears to hear the songs your brushstrokes sing. Never lose sight of your vision. The eye you see with need not blink, know that it is forever and all seeing. Choose wisely, the brush, the color, the position on the canvas, and the witness. And never put your palette down.