Out of a mess forms something beautiful.

A blank canvas, paint smudged on its surface

crumpled with cellophane, left to dry.

Layered over this mess, more paint applied in the shadows, the smudges, the splotches of dried paint.


Look for the forms, the shapes in the mess instructs my teacher.

So I study, I gaze into the shapes

and begin to see them…

the forms, traces on the canvas.


I add color, more shape, more layer upon layer

a creation begins to unfold

as I see patterns, unexpected, on the surface

enhanced by color, light and shadow.


It is the shadow that brings out the beauty in the whole


So as I close in on a year
and reflect on the beginnings of a new year

a blank canvas before me

I pray I will let events shape me,

and try not to control them


let them happen as they are
let them happen randomly….
the places of shadow and sorrow, the places of light and color
the places unexpected
the places smudged or rough or worn
the places exposed.




And at the end of a year, when I look back on the whole picture
stepping away to view from a distance
I will see how each place, each stroke, each color, each shadow had a part
in creating something new.