Georgia O'Keeffe's Painting Space
We shuffle into the cool classroom and slid into a seat. Fresh smelling crisp paper, a new marble notebook and pens.A wrinkled brow here, a sweaty palm. there.A mind reader could see the thought bubbles over heads."Who do I think that I am to be in a writers class?What do I know about art?Will I measure up?"
I breath a bit easier as the quote from Georgia O'Keeffe is read.This isn't about success but about letting our unknown be known.My chest relaxes some and then the only rule is explained:only positive feedback will be allowed.Sigh.This feels like safety.We''ll see..
Hunched over my computer, shoulders tensed above my paper, I gaze at the Van Gogh, "Wheat field with Crows." I don't even like this painting," I say to the wind, but with teeth clenched, I stick with it and slowly, ideas start to form and my pen races over the paper.A story forms like a fog over a meadow and I am happy.
Another day, with a light breeze and mild sky, we are herded outside for twenty minutes.Each writer is bent over in thought with fingers at the ready.5-7-5.That's the key.And I look, really look, and take dogwood leaves in hand and rub them between my fingers and mushrooms become a source of great excitement.Bent down, I pat the yellow one with the bumps, exclaim over the red and stare for awhile at the misshapen one. Haiku.
In beautiful, colorful words, we offer to each other; clouds, loneliness, tears, deprivation, confession, mistakes, childhood, damaging times, family, flowers, church.All the while, we walk around with priceless art under our arms, in our journals.We are sharing this earth with the Masters; Van Gogh, Manet, Wyeth, Gwen John, Georgia O'Keeffe and others.Stan and his bench throw us and we tense with frustration. And yet, slowly we relax with the flowers and the languid garden and in the calming , mysteriously a story comes, a wonderful tale that surfaced from deep in our pure souls.
In the corner, unseen or noticed was a Person, the Listener.He is peace itself, seated with His back to the bright sunny windows.He smiles, nods, enchanted by what He is hearing. His beaming face and constant applause go unnoticed.At the last class, this 8th member wants this to be known:
" When you put pen to paper, you learn who you are.
When you put pen to paper , you learn who I am.
in this you will come to know that I have loved you always and ever."