like that moment when a locked box pops open. When things that I thought I had no knowledge of became clear because there was a remnant of it somewhere in the recesses of my mind. Something that had a familiarity about it, felt good, wholesome and real; that lingered just beyond my grasp.
Having a key to open a lock is, for obvious reasons, optimal, but the key … who is to say, at any particular time, what that is? As a photographer, I know a bit about light, shadow, depth and perspective, but in photography, the image is already there and I simply capture it. It sometimes takes a great deal of work and, at times, planning and a hint of imagination; other times, it is just there. Tonight, I found that I had the ability to capture another kind of image. The one that lives in my head. The one I can’t see with my eyes until I actually create it. It was the closest thing I can imagine to writing a song, taking a blank page and making something that wasn’t there before.
Starting new things is often difficult for me as I lack something vital. Confidence. Confidence in myself, my ability, my strength and even in my weaknesses. I find that I look, with distressing regularity, for an outlet to take me somewhere other than where I find myself to be. I use words, images, nature, books and music to name a few, to transport me. I seem to be continually trying to expand my horizons; horizons that I am often afraid of because they force me to step outside of my comfort zone. Expanding ones horizons takes confidence, and therein likes a big part of the problem. Why, I ask, would anyone care to look at photographs I’ve taken, read words I’ve written or hear of experiences I’ve had? It is difficult, when something comes from deep within, to believe that anyone other myself has any reason to find it interesting.
Tonight, I learned a valuable lesson. It came in the form of a charismatic genius. An artist who opened his world to me. His time, his mind, his talent. And as I sat in the class, following the instructions he gave, I watched, in awe, as an image appeared on a previously blank page. An image that wasn’t there before and emerged as I coaxed it with lines and perspective.
I was apprehensive about trying something that I had already convinced myself I could not do, but was willing, simply for the need to know, try. I left my first art class feeling like there was nothing I could not accomplish. I learned that I could, in fact, draw a straight line with a ruler and that the possibilities are endless.
The box I opened tonight wasn’t Pandora’s, for it was full of things that were inspiring and wonderful. The box I opened tonight was was the one I drew by using the knowledge I have, the tools I was given and the instruction I received.
I am, for the moment (and the moment I am in is all I really ever have), at a place where I decide whether I will stay where I am or move forward and become more than I thought I could be. When I went to bed last night, I felt broken. That feeling carried over to the morning and self-doubt, my oldest nemesis reminded me that I had no talent or artistic ability. This evening, that self-doubt took a serious blow. I found it to be one of the most empowering times that I have faced in a very long time and I was reminded that I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Yes. A long time, indeed.