3a.m. and I can’t sleep. So I think about my life as a painting. I wave my hands in the air as I lie in bed—splashing, sponging, spattering and dabbing as if the blackness in front of me is a canvas. I connect my feelings about events in my life to colours—greys and browns to the darkest times, pinks and yellows to the brightest. I take it a little further by going on my computer and doing research. I find there are colours for every kind of emotion and some have strange names. At one point instead of typing happy colours, I typed hippy colours. Up comes: free spirit, flower child, catch the wind and bohemian beauty. Perfect for one stage of my life during the 1970s. My insomnia instead of being a nuisance turns out to be a lesson on colours, emotions and a fun time painting with words.
Me On Canvas
Curly blond, tanned, running wild on the plantation, bare feet, frilly dresses, this is me—paint me lime, hibiscus, mango, with a dab of ocean blue. Grandmother, corsets, soft and hard at the same time, mother soft and sad. Fudge, kites, baby chicks this is me—aqua, lavender, peach. Catholic girl, nuns, words that don’t mean a lot, this is me—dab me medieval slate. Lesley Gore, Beach Boys, sidewalk surfing, sock hops, football games, flipping burgers, this is me—Aggie maroon, teal, ember glow. Pool in the summer, boys, surfer shirts, drive-in, friends who were friends, this is me—fuchsia, tangerine, Texas tan. Catholic Youth dances, my room, music playing, writing stories, bobby socks, Friday night roller rink, Saturday bowling, tenny shoes, this is me—coral, morning sunshine, peacock blue with a smidgen of blush.
Another country, different life, this is me, not me—spatter me psychedelic, draw a box—midnight black around it. Friends who weren’t friends, clothes—not me, the scene—not me—plaster it bittersweet red—separate it from the rest of me.
Nice guys with nice hair, dancing, dating, fun, this is me—electric blue, sunset pink, Canada yellow. Any girls’ dream, drive in, funny face, this is me—dream catcher, warm peach, polka dots. Broken heart, pain and more pain—smear me poison dark, raw umber, crow black add a spiral, a wave and another, this is me—blue black, hauser dark, bottle green, make it spin. Alone, unhappy, this is me—cover me grey—no don’t it has no colour. Beach baby, dating, partying, friends who were friends, this is me—free spirit, flower child, catch the wind, don’t forget bohemian beauty. Thinking, writing, this is me—turquoise, magenta, yellow and orange.Writing, laughing, loving, this is me—royal blue, emerald, thunderbird. Kids, happy, adoring, playing, this is me—periwinkle, sky blue, willow tree. Freethinker, music, writer, this is me—paint me liberal blue, golden sun, coral, purple with a dash of red—this is me.
Words by Sheila Horne Paintings by Rick Hicks