Living in Layers

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser." ~John W Gardner

I stared at this quote for probably 15 minutes this morning and then thought about it long enough to start writing.

Not even forgiveness is an eraser although we are often told to forgive and forget. I don’t necessarily buy into it. I mean, it’s a lovely thought to think we can completely forget the wrongs (especially if they are ours!) but I know I haven’t forgotten about the things that have happened to me nor do I expect the people I have disappointed will have erased it from their memory.

What I hope for with forgiveness is a tighter relationship between people. When we screw up, I believe a callus is built on our hands, a toughness which makes us ready to combat the next thing together as a unit. We haven’t ditched the good times and we haven’t forgotten the bad ones, but we have decided that the relationship is worth fighting for despite the bad times.

I admire visual art immensely. I love simple pencil drawings but I adore paintings. If he messes up, it’s very difficult to take the paint off of the canvass and so the painter has to work in layers. If he’s really proficient in his work, every layer may be on purpose, but I have talked to painters who have just learned to cover up the mistakes. Then, for others they view each layer as part of the journey and would not want them to be taken away because simply there is a beauty in each brush stroke. They took a chance mixing a new color or applying a thicker amount to the picture. Their risk may have been high, but their open-mindedness exposed a better painting in the end that even surprised themselves.

I feel this way about life. We don’t have an eraser. But if we are open to whatever the next thing is for us, we may just find that each layer that was a perceived error is going to add a rich texture to our character and biography. I would much rather have the lines, wrinkles, calluses and muscle from my experiences than a blank background of sheltered skin. There is nothing remotely interesting about that. :) Nor does it prepare us for the next storm.

I hope that whatever you are painting today, you do it boldly, without caring what anyone thinks about it and if you mess up, you can with a few brush strokes, turn it into your masterpiece where you can reflect upon the layers. After all, I believe it is our layers that make-up who we are…not a blank canvass.

We can always cover it up with a superficial eggshell wash at the end. hahahaa

Be good to you!
Karen :)

I know I began with a quote, but I must add this one too;

"Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." ~Pablo Picasso

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