may2 002



He set up his work outside.

Right outside the window of his room, that looked out onto the street.

He bought a canvas with his penny bank money.

He’d set the canvas outside and would then run back to his room and watch.

Waiting for the passersby.

Waiting to see how they reacted to it.

Smiles. Laughs. Scoffs. Admiration.

He kept a tally.

Marking off his guess at how they were responding – guessing because he could never know for sure.

Keeping their scores so that at the end of the day he would know how to feel about what he  had put out there.

He started doing this after the few times that he had shown his family his work.

He got a pat on the head from them, or no reaction at all.

The nothingness left him feeling blank.

And because he didn’t know to trust the very thing that called him to paint, he went out searching.

Waiting for the approval or rejection from others to determine the value of his own creation.



16 thoughts on “Outside

  1. Devan … this is wonderful. While canvas and paint are not my creative outlet, I fully relate to the message in this beautiful post. Sometimes those closest to me don’t seem to be able to offer the response I crave for my creative endeavors. Perhaps it forces them to consider me in a different framework than they have in the past and they aren’t willing or able. My blog has become my window to look through and see the reaction of the passersby.

  2. This comment means so much to me! I’m so glad that you could related to this post in a personal way. And I’m even more glad that you have your blog as an avenue for your creative outlet – it’s so important! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  3. Amazing, beautiful, and touching. My guess is that, like me, a lot of folks out here in the blogging universe can relate to these experiences. Here’s hoping you always receive smiles and admiration for your wonderful work!

  4. I find this in myself as well- embracing it when I find myself looking in the mirror through others. It is very strange that we do this. Maybe one day we will encourage each other to trust our own inner voices. Maybe. 🙂 and notice their beauty
    Inspiring as always.

  5. Growing up I had difficulties with letters and writing, I would mix symbols and forget words. It wasn’t until much later when I learned English that I could feel everything ‘click’ and make sense. Now, because of that I’ve never been able to take compliments from the people who knew me back then to heart. There’s always that whisper of a doubt, are they saying this to spare my feelings? Anonymity can be dispassionate and cruel, but she is almost always honest. 🙂
    I really liked this, it struck close to home. In a good way.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Fredrik. Hearing that people connect in a personal way to these stories always means a lot to me! 🙂

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