My son drew the above picture for an art unit last year in his 6th grade class. And because I love trees, and snow, this image captivates me. It also stirs up this dreamy, evocative feeling—sort of like deja vu. It's hard to explain, but every time I look at the charcoal trunks against the colorless background, something feels just out of reach in my heart. It makes me think of silence and solitude. Of being far away from home and lost.
Initially, my son refused to let me display it, because he was unhappy with the quality of his work. He said he'd only been given a short time to come up with a subject, and he had to rush through the assignment just to get it done. What he brought home "wasn't even a finished piece of art." Well you know what? I find that fascinating on a couple of levels.
First of all, isn't it wild how one person's trash (he wanted to throw it away) is another person's treasure? For as much as he doesn't like his picture, I really really love it! (FYI, I did ask his permission to post it on my blog and talk about what it means to me, and he willingly gave me his blessing.) Our discrepancy also makes me wonder: where does an artist's creation end, and a viewer's imagination begin? I have the same question when it comes to the written word, and those who read it.
I've been spending more time reading poetry lately, and finding myself drawn to the absence of explanation on the page. In an age where answers are one millisecond away by the gods of google, my soul longs to contemplate the unknown.
I crave the things unfinished and things left unsaid.
The things not visible.
The white space.