The painting rests, thick with dust, against the back wall of my apartment. It is the perfect metaphor for gifts accepted, but not received. And at some cost to my reputation, its guilt-framed bulk weighs each visitor with stares. It is the eyesore that goes without hiding, that cannot ever be proudly displayed.
I am an over-dramatic flourish on the creative canvas; I have accepted this. These days, I demand much of you, readers. I ask you, please, to toy with the unknown so that you can understand what I am trying to tell you. Some of you listen; most do not invest much in what I write. How do I help you understand? How far do my words stretch out to you? All these years, I have written stories, poems, essays, articles, would-be sermons, tracts, denunciations, proclamations, hymns, panegyrics, laments, and stream-of-conscious nothingness. What of it has captured your attention? What ignites you above all else?
I am afraid it is the painting that sits in the corner of my room; it is the form of which I am capable but disinterests me. What of the form should be me, after all, and what of the message? Which is more important?
I finally did get some 3M hooks to put on my wall. If I’m diligent, the painting will be hung shortly. And then, will it proudly look at all who pass her by? Or has that time passed, and will each glance from the broad-shouldered frame tell first of guilt that started our relationship, and then perhaps of meaning?
Or should I scrap the damn thing, and hang a dream-catcher in its place?