Monday, January 24, 2011

Thoughts brings presence...or presents

When I was small there was this quote bandied about in the church community, "thought brings presence". The idea was that when you lived in Heaven if you thought of someone they would appear. Well that is what we were taught. In thinking about this now I feel like that would be such a intrusion to my freedom as a spirit to suddenly  be somewhere else because someone was thinking about me. Ever wonder about that? I did and do.
When I was a very small child  my mind heard 'presents' not presence. I still think of it in terms of that childish whim. My thoughts are gifts. I am able to connect things in daily life and present a word picture to others. That is a gift for which I am daily grateful and attribute my confidence in my writing to my friend Nishan.  Nishan was my highschool art teacher and helped me recognize my artistic ability in this area when I most needed it.
When I was in the elementary school one year our main project was writing a story and illustrating it. I was absolutely stymied. I had no idea where to begin.  I knew I could not draw. I was worried and wished I could be going to a different school so I didn't have to produce this story. Finally I wrote a little story and did some very basic drawings. I got it back with a terrible grade, red markings all over it and a note saying my art work was deplorable. The hurt was unbearable at the time.  I thought I would never get over it. I threw the book in the incinerator and burnt it. It would never be in a box saved to show my children like my sisters before me.

In  high school there was an art class requirement. Being embarrassed about my lack of artistic talent, I told my teacher about my experience the year before. I asked if there was something I could do instead of drawing like working with clay or painting the walls in the art room!! He laughed and thought for a minute. Then suggested that I be the class model for the drawing and painting portion of the course as long as I promised to try and draw one thing with no grade attached for the individual assignment.  He would only give me a grade at the end of the course.  Ok, its a deal.  He took our class to the church after a rain one day and we were to draw the was the very beginning of springtime so many trees with darkened bark from the rain.  Nishan talked me through my art work.  I was able to draw some good looking trees and some flowers I did alright.  I was a good model as well. I got an A in the course. He said I did have artistic ability. I just didn't know how to access it. With help and practice I had done some good work. He also said that my best artistic ability was in stringing words together to make word pictures. He said he loved reading some of the things I had written in English class! apparently my English teacher shared  some of my work with him.  I will never forget Nishan.