Talking

by beccaborrelli


The artist looks at her blank canvas and thinks:

“I will draw a tree.”

So she does. It is quaint yet perfect in the expansive white space.

The tree comes into existence without knowing how or why it got there, yet feels qualitatively alone.

“What am I doing here? What does this all mean?”

The artist ponders her drawing.

“That tree looks so alone…”

She pulls out her sketchbook and sketches ideas. Holding the sketches up next to her canvas she thinks:

“This bird will go right…

…here.”

She puts pencil to canvas but hesitates. Something doesn’t feel right.

“No… here.” she decides.

She draws a tiny bird atop one of the branches.

The tree looks over and sees the bird.

“It is almost as if someone put this bird here just for me- to tell me I am not alone.  I wonder what such a precious creature will do now that it is here?”

The artist looks down at her tree and bird.

Unsure why… save that it feels right, she sketches an expanse of clouds.

The tree looks up at the clouds rolling overhead and again wonders:

“THAT is where a bird will go! Why it is almost as if the clouds and I are talking to each other as well– telling me about the flight of the bird.”

“Of course that is silly nonsense,” thinks the tree. “Clouds don’t talk.”

The artist looks down on the canvas, marveling at the mysterious way the tree, bird and clouds seem to serve each other in the space– an unspoken unity of line, shape and form that feels right somehow.

“It is almost as if you were telling me what to do next” she says to the tree. “Of course that is silly. Art doesn’t talk.”

A dull pain throbs behind her forehead and the artist squeezes her eyes shut. She has had a headache for days. Wondering if perhaps a healthy meal will help, she exchanges pencils for car keys. On her way to the market she stops at a red light.

A telephone wire spans the street above– the sun glowing through a wash of thin white clouds. Two small bird silhouettes flutter down and alight on the wire– their tiny wings beat rapidly for balance, and one looks at the other before settling into stillness. For a moment, the artist feels her headache dissolve as she absorbs the simple yet striking beauty above. A thought bubbles up in her mind:

“It is almost as if some higher power is speaking to me. The headache, car ride, diffused sun rays, red light, birds…  were all put here just for me to experience in just this way.”

The light turns green and her attention snaps back to the road. As she drives away she thinks:

“How silly. The world doesn’t talk that way.”

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