Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Painted Walk

If I was an artist––a painter, or someone who can sketch and draw––I would paint tonight, the softness of the snow and rain on the grass, a color that I don't think can be rendered on canvas. A sort of muted gray-green peeking through a white that is dark and not really white under this cloudy sky and the orange street lamps. I only know it as white because that's what new, thin snow is supposed to be. I would want to paint the droplets that collect on my glasses and the colors they reflect, the green and red of the stoplight and again, that street lamp color which fades in and out as the lights flicker on then off, blurring my vision, turning the night into a kind of puzzle––with whole squares distorted and jumbled, like a windshield in a storm––which my brain is somehow able to reassemble into something that makes sense. I would want to paint the shine on the road and the striking of the flakes and drops on its mottled surface and the way light seems so alive just above it, moving as the water does, catching and holding, shimmering like a breathing black snake. I'd want to paint the soft prints of my dog, the trail we leave behind when we walk, the wind and wet in our faces, but not uncomfortably so, cold in a way that makes us aware of the warmth of our cheeks and the insides of our lips. Paint cannot render scent or flavor but I'd want them to be a part of my portrait also. And sound. The swish of the cars on the road. The clear, snow-taste when I poke out my tongue and catch a flake. The smell of wet grass and wet dog and the tree I stand under while Duncan sniffs and searches for the perfect spot.

Those who know me know I have no ability to draw, except perhaps with my words. But it doesn't stop me from framing and composing, or my hand from twitching as an artist's hand does when it wants to create. I wish you could see what I would paint. But perhaps some night, when we are lucky enough to share a walk with Duncan, you will. And you'll turn to me and say, "This is what you were talking about." And I will smile and reach for your hand.

*Thru the Window, by Sneha Kulkarni, courtesy of the June 16, 2007 post on the blog, A Moon Lit Surface (sic)

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