Not too much scares me.
And what does scare me I, I’m sure, also scares many of you. The thought of losing my home. A medical test gone bad. Root canals.
But each of us has our own quirky sense of the terrifying. Say, for instance, the photo of Shel Silverstein on the back of “Where the Sidewalk Ends”.
Because he looks slightly demonic, that’s why.
As I approach my forty-mmmmppph birthday, I have decided I need to better live up to the magnet on my refrigerator (because if you are to aspire highly, refrigerator magnets are the authoritative source—just my professional opinion). It says: “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Every day might be overdoing it just a teensy bit so I’ve decided once a month works.
I think I’m going to begin with art.
For reasons I will not go into (ok, if you insist—Deborah somebody or another, the busybody that sat next to me in kindergarten art class and led a full-blown table rebellion against my purple reindeer and coloring outside of the lines, as well as Mary Ann from third grade who mocked my scarecrow to my face, without knowing I was the one who made it), I fear drawing and painting.
My father was a talented artist with a good eye. Genetics tell me I have a decent chance of the same. Past experience tells me—well, I can’t hear it over the loud laughing.
When I play Pictionary, my dog is mistaken for a camel, my teapot for an ostrich. My renderings have not improved with age.
Last year, a friend suggested we celebrate by doing a dinner and art combo. It sounded terrifying. And I opted for just eating and drinking (which I’m really quite good at); I scored a 10 out of 10 from my fellow diners.
But this year, I might just be willing to don a beret and get messy. These dinner and painting evenings, many held at good restaurants, have such innocuous names–Bottle and Botega, Pinot’s Palette, Cork & Canvas—that I feel silly for holding out any longer.
If the end product is horrible, my compatriots might just assume I had a little too much vino. Or that I forgot my much-needed eyeglasses.
Or, the new brave me may just tell them I have other talents. And that the purple blob they see might be a reindeer, or it might not. Either way, bringing it to life on canvas should unleash all sorts of wonderful creative juices.
Abstractionism is making a comeback, right?