With her eyes still closed, she shared the story in her head, smiling with pure delight at the sensations the scene stirred within her.
“I was in my mid-twenties in a small apartment I rented in Seattle. I had just finished my bachelors degree in business and was looking for a job. A friend of mine convinced me to enter an art piece in a local art museum competition. I promised I would do it.
I had music blaring, the window was open with a nice gentle breeze blowing in, carrying sounds from the street below. I was so caught in a time warp, purely in the zone of creating. Oh my, it was heaven. The paint brushes floated across the canvas as though they guided themselves. The colors burst forth, inspiring me, infusing me with their joy and effervescent play. It was heaven,” she trailed off, sitting quietly in the memory, stuck between passionate joy and deep sadness.
The alarm vibrated the table, shocking her into the present day. Reaching down, she quietly turned it off, glancing at the page quickly before she closed it. She did not want to give the magazine time to respond, she didn’t want to know why she had given up on that path in her life. The scene had stirred such a longing, almost an ache in her belly.
Standing up, she packed up what was left of her lunch. She had not eaten much, too engrossed in the conversation and all the emotions it stirred up. Placing the magazine in her bag, she headed back up to the third floor. Stopping at the bathroom on her way to her desk, she passed the mirror glancing sideways at her reflection, “where had the young spirited woman gone, when did she let the passion in her die,” she mournfully contemplated.
Rita was quite relieved when the clock finally presented quitting time. The afternoon had been very long and she found it extremely challenging to focus on her work. Shutting down her computer, she grabbed her purse, making sure the magazine was tucked in place. Quickly she snagged her lunch container and headed to the parking lot. It was uplifting to walk out into the sunshine, to feel the gentle breeze on her face, it seemed to clear the day’s disgruntled sensation.
While driving home she thought about what excuse she could give the kids for going to bed early. Chiding herself with guilt, for she always held the time with them preciously, not wanting to waste a single moment. However, today was different, her ability to truly be present with them was going to be a real challenge and she definitely could not tell them why she was distracted. They would really think she was crazy!
Going to bed early was going to be easy after all, Francine, her daughter was working on a big project for school and Frank, her son asked if he could excuse himself after dinner to play video games with friends. Normally Rita would balk at Frank’s request, but tonight she welcomed it. Putting the last left overs in the fridge, Rita kissed them both goodnight, making them promise to go to sleep at a reasonable time.
Shutting her bedroom door, she walked quickly to the sink, so she could brush her teeth and wash her face. The magazine seemed to vibrate an invitation for more as it sat quietly on the night stand. Settling in under the covers, Rita picked up the magazine, noticing that she held her breath while opening it.
“Hello Rita, it’s a brand new day.”
“That’s the beauty of a good nights sleep, everyday is a fresh start, a blank canvas, a new opportunity.”
“You seem upset.”
“It’s okay, your inner being, or soul as humans like to call it, always remembers.”
“Are you happy.”
“See, you do remember. We ask again because that’s what everyone is seeking, that’s why you are here, that’s what life is all about.”
“Because you forgot how to choose the things that bring you joy. You forgot to please you, to do things you want to do, to create, to dream, to play, to be.”
“Yes they can.”
“By listening to your heart and soul. Living from that space versus your programed mind.”
“Tell me about a time that you were really happy.”
There they were, the magazines words from earlier in the day, minus her responses. No wait, supposedly they were actually words from her inner self, she still found that hard to believe.
“Good evening,” freshly showed up on the page.
“Hello,” she replied, pleased that she remembered to talk inside herself.
“It was very fun to remember with you today. The memory you shared of your art creating was happy, vibrant and contagiously alive,” shared the page.
“I’m not sure I like this exploration or discussion,” she quipped at the magazine
“Why,” it asked.
“Because it is stirring up a lot of forgotten feelings, lost dreams, and unfulfilled desires,” she sadly shared.
“Why are you choosing for this to feel bad,” inquired the fresh words.
“I’m not choosing, its just what I feel when I think about the dreams I had when I was younger,” she retorted.
“Yes, you are choosing,” floated the words.
“I am not,” she exclaimed out loud. Sucking in air as she realized how loud she had spoken. Thankfully her daughter had on music and she was sure her son had on his headphones. A relieved sigh escaped her lips.
“Okay, how would you have me see and feel it,” she asked.
“Every day is a new day, every breath is fresh, it is never too late and anything is possible,” came the gentle response.
“Even as you read the words upon this page, you choose how you will feel about what is expressed,” continued the magazine.
“I am too old now, I have too many responsibilities, debts, people to answer to, children to care for, the list goes on and on. I can’t just run away and be an artist,” she replied, not even digesting the words just offered by the page.
“Who told you that? Why do you believe it? What is life without dreams, adventure, exploring, learning, growing, becoming,” inquired the words.
To be continued… 4