Tiny Strokes

Here is a painting titled “the dance of the passion of the parts” that I made on 8/9/78 after waking up and remembering this image from my dreams.  I was depressed at the time and thought that by painting the image, I might gain insight into what was bothering me.  I sat on the front porch and with a tiny brush from a watercolor paint set with at least fifty colors that my father had mailed me, I painstakingly covered every millimeter of the paper.

Red is pain, blood, anger. Black is depression, no end to night, dismal times.  No figure has feet. No figure has a face.  These “dancers” represent parts of me that were striving for expression and integration. Shortly after finishing this painting, I biked over to the Women’s Center, hoping to find someone to help me.  Turns out, the woman in charge that day became my therapist for the next four years. Her name was Lee, which means the sheltered side, away from the wind.

One memory stands out for me now. While I was painting the background black, one of my roommates  commented, “Why don’t you use a bigger brush?”  I considered her suggestion. Certainly, the painting would get done a whole lot faster. Truth was that I didn’t own a bigger brush. Even if I had, there was something satisfying about making all those tiny strokes.  The rhythm of the movements soothed me. Each tiny stroke was made with hope. I liked slowly filling in blank space, one small area at a time.  Sometimes, tiny strokes are all one can manage and, in the end, are exactly what is needed.

0 Responses to Tiny Strokes

  1. This post reflects an experience I’ve had more than once. I’ve dreamed something that echoed in my mind after awakening. I had to put it on paper to get it out of my body or else it would have continued to linger in my mind without explanation. I dreamed I was on the bus and I saw the love of my life whisk pass me in a red sports car. He summoned for me to get off the bus & when I did we drove off to live happily ever after, it was the best thing that had ever happened to me. When I woke up, I realized it was only a dream and for the rest of the day I felt heart broken (weird). What’s even stranger to me is that the same guy appears in my dreams, its always pleasant and we can never get enough of each other. I’ve never seen this man before in my life and vaguely wonder will my dream ever come true? It’s strange but pleasant.

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