Calling

There was an art exhibit at the plaza two days ago. A lot of artists were present and they had a session where they would make a portrait of anyone who was willing to pay. As I quietly watched the intense concentration of everyone as they stroke whatever their brain might interpret from the pretty lady sitting still in front of them, I suddenly noticed my left forefinger silently stroking invisible contours and I realized those were of the pretty lady’s eyes.

Seeing these people of all ages share the same passion in the same place feels like you want to be part of that group. I was itching to draw but I lacked the materials so I had no choice but to continue watching them and try to hide the uncontrollable twitches of my finger. Until this old man in the corner caught my attention because he was lecturing this middle-aged man (which, later on, I found out, was a teacher) about body proportions. Hurray, free tutorials. So I went straight to his side and listened.

I found this man really interesting because 1. He had style–He was wearing a floral shirt and under it was a white top. He was wearing flip flops and he had a cane with him. He had shoulder length white hair and a long nose. And did I mention he wore suspenders? 2. He talked a lot. From the advice he had for other artists to the group of nuns who became his students. He even told the story of how he made a bike for his beloved granddaughter.

I was so preoccupied by his speeches that it took awhile to notice the two guys who was calling me up and asking me if I was an artist myself. I sat beside them and we ended up having conversations about art together with the old man. It was almost 7:30 when we decided to leave. After realizing that we lived in the same town, we all agreed to walk to the terminal together.

The whole experience was an eye opener for me. On our ride home, I became fully aware of how much I’ve forgotten about the passion I had with drawing. I don’t draw that much anymore, that’s a sad fact. My hands had been busy with the keyboard and the mouse and I can feel the rust growing on my fingers. Whenever I try to draw something, it won’t usually come out as what I had pictured in mind and I would get frustrated and so I would give up and find other stuff to do which would lead to more rust until it’s suddenly a vicious circle.

And as I lie awake that night, I recalled all the memories I had as a kid with fire in her eyes and had that dream of drawing for the rest of her life. Those stick figures of imaginary friends on the walls of her house. And the sketchbook her mom gave her as a Christmas present. And the back pages of her notebooks that were never left unmarked. And the friends she made who shared the same passion. Her first paint. Her first framed painting. Her wins and her loses.

Her choice of path.

I’ve come a long way. I almost forgot what actually led me to be where I’m standing. Now, I just need to catch up. There’s a whole lot of knowledge I need to learn. Nope, I’m not even halfway there.

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