Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A paintbrush full of orange

I thought I would tell you a quick story, since I enjoy the trips down memory lane and you all seem to enjoy them as much as I do.

This one is one of mine.

Sweet Girl, as you know, is in kindergarten. She just got her school pictures back the other day and they are so cute! I was amazed, however, at how mature she looks! Her picture looks like I did in my second grade picture. In my kindergarten picture, I look so much younger than she does in hers (which is amazing since, comparatively, I was 6 months older than she was at that time). The wide-eyed wonder with which I am looking out at the world got me to thinking about what I remembered from kindergarten.

Although I have many memories (the day I vomited on my teacher's shoes is a highlight), perhaps the one that holds the most significance is the day I created ORANGE. It was painting time. I was standing before the easel and I had painted a tall building. A building on fire. I needed just the right color for the flames shooting out of the windows. After a certain amount of consideration, I mixed up just the right shade of orange for the flames and swept them in with broad, sweeping strokes of my brush.

Now, you may not realize this, but up until the day I got the brilliant idea to combine red and yellow, orange existed only in natural forms (such as oranges, leaves and monarch butterflies). No other human before me had ever created orange, so I knew right then and there that I was, in fact, an artistic genius.

Now, I don't know why I was painting a burning highrise; I wasn't a violent or scarred child. I probably saw something on TV the day before. Too, I have since figured out that, while I am very creative, I am no artistic genius (for that, you will need to visit Sharon). What makes this memory significant to me is what I learned about myself that day and which I have retained some 35 years later. I am a solution maker. I look at the problem objectively ("hmmm... How do I make this building look like it is on fire?") and find a solution ("I know! Orange will make it look right") and apply it with broad, sweeping strokes. This personality trait of mine often gets me in trouble when people say (with that wrinkled-nose mewl of distaste) "she has such a strong personality". But it also gets me ahead when they call me in and say "I've got a problem. Can you help me?"

And I grab my paintbrush, load it up with orange and start painting.

You know the funniest thing about all this? Visually, I hate orange. It's only in my emotional memory that the color appeals to me.

And here are some comments from this post:
princssis said...
You better get to love orange - remember, we bleed orange here in Another State!
As for kindergarten, you already know I don't remember school until the fourth grade. I so wish sometimes I had those memories, but then I believe there is a reason for that part of my life to be blocked out. It was an extremely stressful time as my parents divorced. It funny, though, cuz I remember home stuff and going to and from school during that time period, but I don't remember school or my teachers and classmates. ????????????

Geekwif said...
I never thought I would see a post of yours with the word "orange" in the title, unless it was "Death to Orange" or something like that. You have yourself pegged. You are definitely a problem solver.

Russ said...
Blond AND strong personality?? Thank God in heaven that there are some of you left. You have two of my top ten most requested female traits.
Lucky girl...
Oh yeah, lucky husband!

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