Paris Moon

“There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.”

-George Carlin

Tonight I am perplexed by the moon. It has so much beauty and mystery. Sometime’s it’s bright, round, and clear; other times it’s crescent-shaped and half visible. But tonight it is full and covered up by mildly transparent, foggy clouds. It gives off an eerie vibe. While I am always impressed by random beauty that I happen to notice throughout the day, the moon caught my eye because I was trying so hard to perfect it recently.

I went to a Painting With A Twist class, and the picture we were painting was titled ‘Paris Moon’. It’s a beautiful vision of a bright, full moon surrounded by a mirage of colors. At the very front of the canvas is the dark and powerful Eiffel Tower atop the Seine River. The night sky is sprinkled with twinkling stars. We started this painting with a simple circle of white paint in the upper left-hand corner, representing the moon. I didn’t make a circle perfect enough for my liking, but my instructor assured me it would turn out fine. We started to add a mixture of blues and yellows and greens around that circle, blending the colors as we went. At the end of this, I had made my supposed-to-be bright white circle a blob of blue-green. I was expectedly upset by this, but the instructor reminded me again not to worry and said we’d come back to fix it later. I carried on as we filled in the background, created the light reflected on the water by the moon, structured the Eiffel Tower, and sprinkled the stars. All the while, I had gotten lost in other errors I took issue with regarding my work (the river wasn’t blended well enough, the Eiffel Tower wasn’t proportional, the white line dividing air and water was smudged, there were too many stars and they looked like polka dots, etc.). But during all this chaos, I’d forgotten about the moon. It still wasn’t to my liking, but that was okay because now it was time to return to it and fix it. The place it all started. Eventually, I added enough white and blended the colors just right to where I then had the perfect moon. I was satisfied with my whole painting.

As I was driving home and recognized the moon, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a metaphor pertaining to my life and if I was supposed to be at that store at that exact time painting that exact picture. Was I put there on purpose to realize these things? Am I supposed to go back to where it all began? Start over on a new canvas?

The real moon in the sky was a humorous reminder that sometimes you can’t perfect things when you want to. Sometimes it’s better to move on and assess problems with the rest of the painting, fix those, and then revisit the one you’ve been stuck on after it’s had a chance to dry. You’re not leaving it forever-just until you’ve taken a step back long enough to see it with fresh eyes when you return. You had it within your power to fix it all along, and it wasn’t hard. Now you have a beautiful, unique, perfectly imperfect canvas painted just the way you want.

-Aly

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