What is your favorite color he asks me and I realize I have no idea. Did I, once? I think of a certain autmn leaf’s fire-tinged maroon, dappled green light from sun pooling into a forest clearing, the cerulean turquoise of a warm-water sea. I can’t color these moments, they’re slipping away from me even as I remember them. Red, I say, and he digs through the box.

I want to draw the snap of twigs underfoot, the scent of Ponderosa pine, the teary salt-taste of raising your face from the ocean and seeing where the blue of sky touches the water, the cold late-light October burn, but I have this blunt piece of wax and I do what I can. I draw a square house, a triangle for a roof, a door. Draw me and Dylan and Daddy he says excitedly and now there are three stick figures. It’s us, he says. Make the cat, too.

I am not good enough at this, I think. I want the paper to dance, I want to bring something to life. I want to stop wanting things, maybe.

Outside the window the clouds have joined together in a swath of flat grey and the trees are letting go their armfuls with every gust and I draw one red leaf, not the right color at all, and he says that’s pretty and okay. Okay.


31 Responses to “Okay”

  1. Christine B on October 5th, 2011 10:44 am

    Your photography brings things to life. Your words bring things to life. Especially your words.

  2. Nichole on October 5th, 2011 10:49 am

    Oh, but you are so good at this writing thing.

  3. Lucy on October 5th, 2011 10:54 am

    I so love the way you put things into words.

  4. Mary Beth on October 5th, 2011 10:58 am

    And yet you draw with words like a true artist….

  5. Nolita on October 5th, 2011 11:04 am

    I can see and taste and hear what you write! You do a FABULOUS job of capturing these experiences and sensations and sharing them with us. So maybe you can’t literally draw it but you paint the picture so well for so many of us. Thank you!

  6. Nik-Nak on October 5th, 2011 11:09 am

    Thank you for making me realize I suck at both drawing like you wish you could and writing as well as you do.
    Very beautiful post.

  7. Melissa on October 5th, 2011 11:13 am

    You may not be able to draw but, girl, you can write. Beautiful.

  8. Candy on October 5th, 2011 11:16 am

    The enormous beauty of your writing often brings me to tears. We are all artists in our own way.

  9. M.A. on October 5th, 2011 11:45 am

    I heart you. Your words are art, never failing to touch me in some way. Thank you.

  10. Anonymous on October 5th, 2011 11:52 am

    I can’t draw to save my life, but I try to remember that my five year old wants to spend time with me coloring, and the time is what is important, not the actual picture.

  11. H on October 5th, 2011 12:27 pm

    “I want to stop wanting things, maybe.”

    I think about this often these days.

  12. agirlandaboy on October 5th, 2011 12:39 pm

    One day he will be able to read this and understand that THIS is what you do.

  13. Amy N on October 5th, 2011 1:16 pm

    You got skills!

  14. Danell on October 5th, 2011 1:21 pm

    I’m sure your stick figures danced for him. I still have some stick figures my mom drew for me and they were FABULOUS when she did them. And I’m, uh, OLD now. They are still fabulous…in their own way.

  15. BabyKMama on October 5th, 2011 1:44 pm

    You draw and paint with your keyboard… I remember thinking my mother was the BEST in the world at coloring, and idolized her talent. She outlined (!) things in my coloring book, or created a little shadow on something with a different color from the big box of crayons. It doesn’t matter what/how you draw, your sons will feel the same about you I’m sure!

  16. Lawyerish on October 5th, 2011 2:04 pm

    Whew. That is some writing, right there.

  17. http://www.designermama-manaallamano.blogspot.com/ on October 5th, 2011 2:16 pm

    I also want to stop wanting things. . . trying to be content these days seems quite difficult. Also? The gray, gray, gray of Seattle is bringing everyone down.

  18. Jean on October 5th, 2011 4:08 pm

    Oh but your words are so beautiful……

  19. Kristin on October 5th, 2011 4:09 pm

    But your writing makes the page sparkle!

  20. Christine on October 5th, 2011 4:36 pm

    Oh Linda, I don’t possess the words to tell you how beautiful this is, or how it makes me feel. Thank you.

  21. Victoria on October 5th, 2011 5:32 pm

    But damn you can write

  22. Judy on October 5th, 2011 8:59 pm

    You can’t stop wanting things. Wanting is what keeps us living.

  23. Melissa A. on October 6th, 2011 5:07 am

    Kids have it figured out. Anything can be simply beautiful. The adults are the ones making it too complicated, always demanding more because we feel we deserve more.

  24. Redbecca on October 6th, 2011 7:12 am

    So lovely. You have a true gift, Linda.
    (Also, I have to put IDs on my stick figures. I can’t draw for crap, either)

  25. adequatemom on October 6th, 2011 8:50 am

    Your words TOTALLY bring things to life and make things dance. Like my heart. So glad you share this gift with us.

  26. anonymous on October 6th, 2011 11:35 am

    It reads like you’re trying too hard.

  27. Erika on October 6th, 2011 1:26 pm

    We as parents have to remember that our babies just want to spend time with us doing what they want to do. He doesn’t care how you draw. He is going to think it is very pretty.

  28. Linda on October 6th, 2011 1:28 pm

    This is not actually about drawing. I know. Not clear. Just writing out some brain-goo.

  29. Christina Rosalie on October 6th, 2011 5:54 pm

    Oh Linda, this is just gorgeous… I love it when you write like this: BAM! Straight from the gut. I know exactly what you mean… how it feels to want to capture the color of life passing… and you DO. You do, with this record.

  30. HRJ on October 6th, 2011 6:24 pm

    What Christina Rosalie said. Really. A LOT.

  31. Jen on October 7th, 2011 7:45 am

    Exactly, exactly what Christina Rosalie said. Beautiful. It makes my heart hurt and my breath catch.

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