A love letter to artmaking

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My Dearest,

I look now, over at your table, that beautiful old oak table, with the carved legs, and I know you are being so tolerant, your space covered with scraps, crumbs, and frustrated piles of broken frames and dusty matt boards. I know you understand. You always come last. I don't know why you put up with it.

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Because you deserve so much more. As soon as I give you even a second of my time and attention, you give back so much more, fighting against me and my stupid excuses and short attention span.  I always think, god, this is going to be awful, and true, sometimes we don't click. But over the years, I've learned I can rely on you. I know that if I just shut up and give you some ink and some paper, some watercolor, you will take over. I love to witness this. When I sink in and let go, when I finally give you the time and space and stop nagging and expecting, when I can finally just be with you, then the most amazing things happen.

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From out of nowhere, visions appear on the paper in front of me, flowing out, out of control, and I see that you are telling me something, something about me, about my life. So I soften, I give in. I start to listen. The story unfolds and tells me something I couldn't see. Sometimes I get greedy and I want more answers, more magic, more flash. You sigh and let me over-do it.  I always see later that you were right. I don't have to try so hard.

Afterwards, subtly, I feel better. Not like a toothpaste commercial, where everything is suddenly bleached and shiny and perfect. I still have my bed head, still have that endless "to do" list, still feel aggravated by my kids, guilty that I took time away from them to be with you. 

I know you need me too. I know when I feel confused, angry or depressed that you are trying to get my attention. And I hate you in that moment. I look that table, the crusty bottles of ink and unsharpened pencils and the last thing I want to do is spend time with you.  I feel obligated, I think its going to suck, and it seems pointless anyway, why bother?

"Just organize the supplies," you say, "clean the brushes. That's all I ask." I'm on to that trick, by the way.

But it works. I think, "maybe I'll just make some colored papers to use some other time. Maybe I'll just mess around." And then you suck me in.

I love you for that.