Artist in Training

For my whole life I have wanted to be an artist. Matisse prints on my apartment walls and art school google searches in my browsing history, I check out Virginia Wolfe from the library and scribble page after page into an exhausted journal. I lean into the anxious creative inside me between museum walls and buzzing coffee shops and then away again at the clock’s hands, stumbling into my accidental reality.

I bide time in my existing life, reading the books and soaking in the sunshine and drawing in the laugh-lines. My anxious limbs rest on beach towels and tired pillows, reluctant to get up, waiting on an unknown cue to begin their course. I tell myself that this summer, or maybe next, I will wake an hour early every morning to write my novel, to paint my masterpiece, to create something something worthy of titling myself an artist.

I am in training now, filling myself with more poetry until the fine “eureka” day I stumble into a beginning. I am waiting for the cards to align to start my underground social-change newspaper, to plant my organic garden, to travel out of the country, to know exactly what it is I am here for.

Maybe starting is the only bravery it will take to call myself a writer, to paint enough to be an artist, to love enough to be unafraid. Maybe tomorrow morning I will wake up knowing myself, unblinkingly, sit down to pen and ink, and begin.

Or maybe I will pour my coffee, sit cross-legged on my ragged sofa, watch the sun fill my yellow apartment walls and continue my training.

Writing and photo by Mara Strobel-Lanka.

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