The Picture of You

I wish I could tell you that you started off as a blank canvas, but you didn’t. A little outline had crept onto the material before I even knew I was painting. Most of it was driven by what I saw, but some of it seemed to appear without my intention. As if the lines were guiding my hand along the edges of a shape that couldn’t be seen. And whether you realised it or not, you were probably painting me too.

I swiped and blotted the colours that I expected, only to realise that sometimes they didn’t match the subject. I was wrong about that little patch of yellow. It turned out to be a vivid orange – still the same radiance, but with a touch more fire. Each day I added a dot here, a splotch there, and a distinct image started to form. Don’t get me wrong, I still needed to go back to parts that I thought I had finished. If not to fix a mistake, to build on something incomplete. But somewhere along the palette, I saw you. 

And that’s when I stopped painting.

My job was done, right? I had finished your portrait. It was right there and you could take it or leave it. Either way, I was tired of painting.  Partly because the paint supplies were running low and I kept on snapping those damn brushes. But ultimately, I had conveyed everything that I could see and the constant refinement of every line was costing me. And I know you would’ve offered to cover the cost of new brushes and hunted down the best colours you could get your hands on, but there wasn’t anything left to paint. Or at least I thought there wasn’t.

Of course, I was wrong. I had stopped inspecting each shade and revising each stroke because the overall picture had become so familiar. I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry that I stopped searching for more of you to paint. But more than that, I’m sorry that I tried to paint you in the first place.

How naive of me to think I could ever accurately portray a dynamic subject on a static canvas.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.