Archive | May, 2013

There’s always room for a crayon

6 May

Maybe he used them for work. Highlighters weren’t invented until 1963 you know, and he may have been attached to his crayons by then. All I know is that my grandfather had a box of crayons on his desk, even after he had essentially retired, even when he was well into his 90’s. I know that, and I know that if he ever colored a picture, I did not get to see it.

“Will it break your heart,” Anne Lamott asked in a Facebook post one day last week, “if it turns out that you never got around to it?  If you wake up one day at eighty, will you feel nonchalant that something always took precedence over a daily commitment to discovering your creative spirit?” “Funny you should ask,” I thought. Not so much about the daily commitment: In a one-flat-tire sort of way, that has been in place for several years.  Just the day before, I had jbeen wondering if I was giving it as much space as I could, as much space I would wish that I would have, using the space in the best way possible. I don’t know.

“I’d rather be here, sitting on a bench, feeding the ducks with you,” Joyce said to her husband, choosing that over the community college art classes her grown daughter had urged her to take. The recently discovered sketchbook of drawings from Joyce’s pre-motherhood days were “just a part of her past,” she said. The writers of the sitcom “Mike and Molly” created something believable, but I would also have believed them if they had written that Joyce set her easel up by the bench, and drew while Vince fed the ducks. I promise, I would have.

In rapid succession this week, three of my grandbabies received recognition for their writing and artwork. All three are on the cusp of choosing their careers. My crystal ball has been sent out for repair. It is not for me to choose among the things they love, and/or the things at which I see them excel. It is not for me to urge a particular career path. But I do have something to say.

I want to say, “If you love to run, run. If you love to swim, color, draw, write, fish, sing, paint, knit, play basketball or piano, then make room for those things.” It is true that sometimes over the course of our life what we love to do changes. We tire of one thing and discover another. It is also true that the creepy-crawly do-list will eat your heart out if you let it.

I haven’t come to any earth-shaking conclusions about my writing, about today and tomorrow, but I can tell you what I think about yesterday: I had ten minutes. On any given day, there is at least one thing that can wait for ten minutes. There is at least ten minutes worth of stuff that can go in the “never” pile.

There’s always room on your desk for a crayon.