Behind the Brushstrokes

If I could paint, I would paint an abstract red and black painting right now. It would hold (some of) my pain, my fears. There are times when I feel like painting or drawing to express my emotions. Not that I actually want to go out, buy the paint, and watch a video on how to do it, but more like wishing I had the muscles/ability to express myself in that way. Dancing and body movement is more my intuitive way of expression—as well as writing. Writing is easier on my body since when I dance or exercise to release deep, difficult emotions at times I overdo it, ending up straining my body at the expense of my emotional relief.

It’s not that I physically want to paint. It’s just a yearning to have a painting made with the image I have in mind. The vivid color, the movement expressed in the brushstrokes—which would be broad and quick, representing the boldness of my emotions.

Writing is great, but sometimes it doesn’t pack as much of a punch. Although I do find writing poetry feels more emotionally effusive at times. Spoken word is a more dramatic, artful way of expressing oneself as well. At least it sounds like it.

Imagining I made this red and black painting, would I write on the back of it all the events that led to its conception?

How I had a rough start to my workday yesterday.

How it was a somber Jewish fast day (there aren’t any happy ones, but this one is particularly sad—a day of national mourning) and I was trying hard to push through uncomfortable feelings of hunger as well as the malaise that comes with not eating (I enjoy food: It tastes good and it energizes me!).

How I came home wanting to play with my daughter but also take it easy since I was still fasting (the fast end time was around 9 pm).

How instead I was greeted with news that she had fallen out of her crib at nap time and hurt her cute, pudgy arm (she is two and a half).

How we spent the majority of our evening in urgent care (sure, I wanted to kill time since I was fasting, but this wasn’t what I had in mind…).

How we received a diagnosis of wrist fracture and were given instructions on how to make an appointment with the orthopedist to replace the splint they put on her with a cast.

How she left the urgent care saying the splint would come off soon and my heart sank thinking about how it wasn’t coming off as soon as she thought and when it did, it would only be replaced with a cast.

How the splint and cast immobilize her arm so it heals and reduces pain and in turn immobilizes our plans: My heart sank again as she talked about going to the playground—something that will not be feasible for 4 weeks. How during this period she will have to refrain from doing all the other active things she loves to do. (Didn’t I just send my family that video of her happily bobbing up and down on the moon bounce at her last day of camp?)

My red and black painting would encompass all of this.

As well as the angst that I feel as my mind catches up to all that has happened and I am left with feelings of guilt and frustration for not being able to travel back in time and undo this difficult event.

Broad and Quick Brushstrokes Representing Bold Emotions

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