Maria awakened before the sun, tired and swollen from recalling what her life had been. Places, faces, names, and races bled through her memory like ink on white fabric before settling into unfamiliar shapes. She paced back and forth reflecting on her vision, values and mission before picking up a paintbrush and softly dabbing the ends of her brush into berry blue and rose red.


Her choice of colors might seem odd, but you could tell by her face that they were significant, despite her struggle to manifest their importance on canvas. She stood there stuck, clueless, with no imagery.

(A tear fell)

In need of emotion, Maria let it run with hope that it would spark her creativity. She traced the path of the droplet as it ran pass her right nostril to the end of her right cheek, only to settle on the bottom of her chin where it dangled until another tear pushed it way.

Looking out the nearest window, she was distracted by long shadows and silhouettes of tall Chicago buildings and the rich colors of sunrise that outlined them. Maria questioned what she’d once been told about the sun being male, and the moon his companion. She couldn’t fathom anyone but a woman nurturing such an entrance and exit, without fail, in such magnificence.

Maria shrugged off the folklore, dismissively, as if she had decoded a simple mystery. Maria watched the sun complete its mural before giving in to the ever-present urge to be outside. Jacket on and shoes on feet, Maria ventured the streets of her new canvas. She was seeing Chicago for the first time in several days, as if being led by puppet strings with a tacit purpose. Driven by an inner whisper that she trusted, but couldn’t identify, Maria found her way back inside to tend to her business at hand.chi1

She pulled and rolled out her base with force, then began matching pieces of her work together with some sort of primal understanding she didn’t know she had until then. Her mind was locked on a speckled ovular shape, neglecting the berry blue and rose red, surprised by how the specks changed from grey to vibrant orange and yellow the closer she got to completing her project.

Before Maria completed her work, she carefully placed one last woven twig amongst the painting. She stepped back to admire her creation then proceeded to climb inside it to live in its everlasting beauty.

(COS/Ta’One Walker)



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