There is a park bench across me. That spot used to be occupied by a painter – a former regular of this park. Every day, that painter would come to that same spot, sit on that same bench, take out the same materials from the same bag – and paint.
But the painter comes to this place no more.
His face is now rarely seen in these parts. He now has a new territory to conquer. A gentleman’s house. A mansion. A stately manor.
At least, that’s what I assume and presume.
After all, I was there when the old gentleman came up to him. I had looked on when they held that quiet conversation. And I had listened in when they struck that deal – when the old gentleman fulfilled that rugged painter’s dreams.
The old gentleman fulfilled that rugged painter’s dreams.
I imagine the artist with the messy pony tail and stubby goatee in one of the gentleman’s marbled rooms. I laugh, knowing how he must stand out so terribly, yet still fit in so beautifully, into that dignified setting.
I envision him taking out his used and weathered tools, fingering them gently as he explains their uses and functions to a wide-eyed lad. I smile, visualizing the twinkle in his eyes as he shows the boy how to make colours in a canvas come alive.
I picture him walking around the old gentleman’s rooms and gardens. I see him soaking up the beauty, drinking in the sights, conjuring ideas for new works of art, dreaming up new themes for new paintings.
I imagine him living out what I believe are his dreams.
I wonder if he would miss coming to this spot. If he would miss watching and painting the people here. If he would miss – well, simply miss the city park.
But I believe saying goodbye to this park had been an effortless feat for him. Judging from his paintings, I believe that he has been through more difficult goodbyes.
But I – I still am a regular to this park. Here I watch lives lived out. Here I watch dreams, desires, and destinies fulfilled. Here I witness how sacrifices are paid off, how obstacles are hurdled, how odds are victoriously beaten.
And here I write them down.
I’ll never find myself confined to a stately marbled house. That is the painter’s path, but this is mine.
As I use words to colour in the spaces of imagination; and as the painter uses his brush and oils to fill in the white of his canvas – so differ our paths and ways.
I may walk away, but I always return for another day.
And so I sit here. I watch. I wait. And with pen in hand, I write away.
I see a woman with a sweet face and delicate curls walking in the distance. She appears to be searching for something. Or someone.
My pen is in my hand and I write away.