I was sitting in a cold, empty room.
“Criss cross applesauce”, is how my teachers would tell me to sit. So I sit not sure what to do or even think.
The room felt so cold….sterile. White walls, floors and ceilings. I pulled my knees to my chest to find a feeling of warmth. I did not like this feeling.
Then I heard a voice….a man’s voice from behind me. I looked around and there he was. An elderly man with wisps of hair and small stature came and sat next to me. I let go of my legs and spun around to face this unusual man. We didn’t speak but he just smiled at me. He had a warm smile and his eyes glistened with mischievous thoughts. I liked him immediately. His face was wrinkled but his spirit was so full of youthful energy.
“Hello”, I almost whisper to him.
His eyes smiles at me and he says “Hola”!
He gently reached over and took my hands in his. I feel at ease with him so I continue to smile.
“My name is Anja. I am so happy to have some company in this room,” my eyes glance around as I say that to him. “It is rather dull and sad here. I wish it was more welcoming for you.”
“My name is Pablo. I am happy you asked me to come be here with you. I am not sure what you see in this room, but I see beauty everywhere.”
I am taken back by two things. He said I asked him to come? I am not even sure how he showed up. Beauty? Maybe some like the hospital feel but not me.
“I called you here?” I asked with hesitance.
He thew his head back and laughed. “Of course you did. Just like when you were a little girl. Don’t you remember? All those times you were bored or lonely, you asked me to come and we would create a beautiful world together.”
He leans towards me and with his finger taps me lightly on my forehead.
“I come from in there and your heart. When you were a little girl your dad took you to a museum and you saw one of my paintings. You begged for a book about me and from then on you would ask me to come create with you. Well, that was until you grew up. Then we lost touch. Adults tend to forget the magic of childhood.”
I know who he is now and I wrap my arms around him and almost squeal with delight. Pablo, my friend has come back.
“I am so sorry I forgot about you. It was not my intention but as I grew school became harder, then I made new friends and well……I guess I just got too busy. I have missed you.”
He sat back and laughed again. “I knew you would remember again. All the ones with the special gift do. Just takes some time.”
All the memories of being little came rushing back. The colors, music, painting and bringing my imagination to life all came back to me.
“You said you see beauty in this room,” I paused to look around and shivered. “I don’t see it”, I say almost pleading with him.
Pablo placed his hand on my cheek and said, “Take my hand child…..let’s get started.”
He stood up and took my hand bringing me to my feet. I felt an energy all around and laughter came from deep inside. I wasn’t fully aware of what was going on but I am enjoying the feeling all around.
“My dear girl I think you need to paint again. What shall we come up with this time?”
“Paint? I have nothing to paint with. We have nothing here. It is just the two of us. Not sure what I should do”.
“You don’t see paint? Close your eyes, pick a color and let it come out. You can do it”.
I listened to him and immediately the color blue came to mind. It was happiness and sadness in one. I could smell the ocean, feel the wind blow around the sky. I opened my eyes and reached out like to harness the wind. In my hand appeared a feather. I was surprised but it was all coming back to me. I twirled around with the feather to make the air move and all of a sudden blue appeared everywhere. I walked over to the wall and used the feather to create water. I step back the waves seemed to move.
As I spun around Pablo was grinning so big. “Keep going,” he urged.
I pushed the feather against the blue I just painted and it stayed. Hmmmm a bird is what came to mind. I could hear the song of a bird and saw the music notes dance around. I took one of the notes in my hand and squeezed it and black oozed out. I drew a bird upon the blue and the song came out of the wall. Beautiful.
Pablo walked up to me and whispered, “I remember your favorite animal growing up. Do you?”
Of course I did. I again closed my eyes to think back to my days of riding my precious horse. I felt myself riding on him, leaning over to nuzzle in his mane. I clipped a piece of his hair and opened my eyes. My hands moved as fast as my mind and a horse appeared. I looked and could see his strength.
“Pablo what do you think?” I asked and I could see he was already studying the piece.
“Do you remember how you loved fairy tales and stories of elves, mystical creatures and folk lore?”
I walked up closely to the picture that was moving, singing and coming to life. I placed my hands on it and let my mind take me to a forest. Out of no where a faun appeared to me. We didn’t speak but he reached his hand out to me. I took it and pulled him out of the forest and on to my painting.
I just stood to look at what was on the wall. I felt tears well up from deep inside. The faun was speaking to the horse who was moving to the song of the bird. The water was moving and….wait……
I look around and where did Pablo go?
I spun around in a desperate need to find him. I sat back down this time facing the story that came to life on the wall. I looked very closely and then smiled. I noticed a building growing up from the ground and then finally a little hand waving to me out of one of the windows. Pablo…….
I laid down and smiled. Pablo went to live inside my little world. He will wait for me until I call for him again. This time, I will not forget him.
All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ”