No Crying Over Spilled Ink

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I’m not good at art. At all.

Not ink. Not charcoal. Not finger paints.

Not any kind. Not any presentation. Not any medium.

And I’m not good at saying no. Gives me more responsibility, anxiety and heartache than a girl can handle somedays.

Problem is, I’m also really god damn bad at saying yes.

“Hey, you want to grab a drink after the show?”

No.

“You want to get the girls together for a-”

Probably not. No, on second thought,  you know what? Absolutely not.

“Wouldn’t it be fun if we-”

Never.  Could not refuse harder.

For me, there is something so safe and comfortable about being tucked away alone. You can’t embarrass yourself. Well, you can but at least no one can see it. It’s easy.

So,  trying something new? With others?

The painful, saccharine, no-way-in-hell, kitsch of that is so gross and full of sticky treacle it’s almost adorable in its irony. New things? That’s the hard stuff. And there’s no way I’d even consider such a horrible idea.

But today, for some inexplicable reason, I did. Well, actually I can explain, but it’s boring.

I was invited to buy nibs and ink and gorgeous sleek paper so that I could take a shot at calligraphy. For no other reason than it seemed like a fun way to spend an afternoon. Me. Arting.

My initial instinct? No. Fat, stoic, austere no. Why? I can’t do that. Notion like that could surely only bring pain and gutting of what residual self-esteem a Sunday night has to offer.

But, I didn’t say no. Because I wanted to be nice. I wanted to make happy. I wanted to show that I’m not a constant and perpetual drag full of mope and pessimism. I mean, I usually am, but we don’t need to advertise that.

To my surprise, I said yes. We bought the pretty things and went home and sat and drew bold, black, gothic letters.

It was silly. My work was a jumbled mess. I’ve seen neater letters on a preschooler’s letter to Santa.

But it wasn’t bad. I sat and tried and tried again. I played along. Then I pretended to be Mary Shelley, writing for the Monster. That was actually lots of fun. Those incredible women suffered this inky pain and wrote this magic words while strangled and erect in corsets, not slouched kyphotic in yoga pants and a blanket scarf.

The pattern of mine, the unexpected yes,  is starting to repeat and those acceptances and their reasons are starting sharpen into focus. No long ago, instead of hiding away in a room, I said yes to sitting and talking and had a lovely night with some lovely girls. This same culprit also asked me once to stay for pasta. Something told me to fight my instinct and say yes to that as well. I’m so glad I did. Been staying ever since and I’m better and so happy for it.

This afternoon turned into a good night. Lots of letters on pretty paper. Slanted, uneven, sloppy, lines and curves with perk when they should relax and malaise when they should  assert their point. Objectively speaking, I’m not going to get work in a print shop anytime soon. I won’t get hired to write the addresses on your cousins’ wedding invitations.  But I did something better.

One more time, I said yes.

And then dripped ink across everything.

So now the writing says vjcc.

But I’m still saying yes.

 

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