Monday, 28 June 2021

'What do you want to do that for?' by Lynda McMahon


I always wanted to be an artist. Paints, brushes, blank paper infused with possibility.

     “What do you want to do that for?”

     Such incredulity at my audacity.

     “People like us don’t do that.”

     I didn’t know what to do with the paints I collected. I was afraid to ‘spoil’ them.

     “Don’t waste them!” Another anthem to my days.

      “Don’t mix things up!”

     I collected paints and they collected dust. Until, one day, I began to look, really look at artists’ paint boxes. They were messy. They’d got paints overflowing into each other and their once pristine, white mixing pans were used, unwashed, experimental. A riot of ‘dont’s’. All I had to do was pick up a brush, dip it in water and fill it with paint.

     “You’ve always been artistic,” they said.

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