A Painting Lesson
August 7, 2013
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Before I could rest from my weeding, Father Santos appeared and handed me a can of paint. “Please, one of the men brought this to me today. He said I should use it for the church. I would like you to pick what should be painted.”
I took the can from him and saw that it was a gallon of white. He handed me an old paint brush. “Comprende, señor, paint is for covering that which should be covered. Paint makes something look nicer. Do not waste it on something that does not need it. Or deserve it.”
And there you have it. Father Santos’ third lesson. What Kelvin does with it you’d need to read Weed Therapy to find out.
What was my purpose with this lesson? To be honest, this is the lesson that most confounds me. Painting something over can have two different meanings. On the one hand, it could make something more beautiful and incredible. On the other hand, it could just be like a mask, covering rot.
There are plenty of figurative forms of paint in a relationship. Those motions and gestures, words and actions that do nothing more than cover the rot. The peck on the cheek when so much more is needed. Those magical three words, the ones that represent one of the most powerful statements a person can make to another — I love you — but delivered rotely without feeling, without meaning. Those things are paint that covers the rot.
But think of what paint can really do to something. When applied lovingly to an old piece of furniture. Or sprucing up that fixer-upper that could be the home you dream of.
And that’s where I fail at this lesson. Those things are old and run down. What about painting things that are still new and fresh? To keep them that way. What about those figurative forms of paint. The magical words, delivered with feeling and meaning. A touch and a kiss, delivered with emotion and want.
Keep your paint brush handy. Dip it into your paint can every day and keep things fresh and beautiful.