By Tiffany James
“Is She Serious?”
Who said coloring within the line is art? Whoever said it, their eyes did not witness the unfathomability of creation.
She cannot believe that five years had passed since she drew this simple, yet profound sh_t that she deemed a masterpiece, speaking to her in an unwritten language that says f_ck the rules. It must possess a power that is not visible to the human eye to cause her, the woman known for her positivity to use foul language. Yet, she is ready to post her drawing on her IG story; the heading in bold and flashy letters reading “SO DAMN WHAT” —no other caption needed. Figure it out. She is flying without wings and landing where she DAMN well pleases. Yes, she is supposed to be a role model; a person of influence shaped by the unrealistic expectations of the masses, yet finds herself slowly sliding off the edge of the couch to the depths of freedom and observers are unsure of her sanity. “She must be going through something,” they assume. They do not realize that she has held on to the picture she drew of a mailbox, staring at it daily as beckoned her to take a closer look. The observers could never comprehend the force at the heels of the leaded pencil taking over and bringing disarray to her need of approval and acceptance. The comments continue to flood underneath her post:
“It doesn’t look like a mailbox?”
“Is it actually a mailbox?”
“What’s the point?”
“Are you okay?”
“Leave her the f_ck alone,” is what I want to comment, but the voice of reason always wants to remind you, “they are just trying to help.” I want to remind them that it is her—the sculptor of liberation. “Isn’t she still a woman of influence, leading us to the abyss of self-discovery?”
She wondered what would happen if the spectators would look at the image as if they were a five-year-old child with a box of crayons, ready to fabricate their existence. A child does not see a mailbox, but a cave full of adventure. They belly laugh at the thought of hands reaching in, tickling the possibilities of good news, while dreading the bad. This masterpiece an artist created out of pressure for a letter grade in art class; the educated unaware of what it takes for the mind to rest so that it can create. When she stares at the piece of art, she sees the rain saturating the original colors, extending the opportunity of something new and more vibrant. She sees its posture as it stands resurrected after years of having the door of its mouth slammed shut repeatedly without the slightest consideration of its genuineness. No one remembers that before technology, it was the greatest instrument for correspondence. No other instrument could secure and protect the weight of information kept within its fragile body. It’s more than a mailbox—it is history. It allowed for human connection all over the world. It never complained! It still understands its purpose despite the rise of email, e-cards, and social media. It will always be needed! If the world shuts down it will remain faithful. No one would ever know that the piece itself is a savior; preventing the mundane while advocating for a sense of normalcy. She couldn’t believe that a simple drawing could impact the way she viewed the world around her. Comments flooding and drowning out the message because people no longer pause at beauty. New is old and old is new. There may be those who embrace this, others may think it insane, yet I see her in the fullness of her emancipation.
Have you gotten lost in the moment yet?
You may ask, “what does a drawing of a mailbox have to do with freedom?”
It is more than a mailbox. When was the last time you opened yourself up and let the observers know that is more to you than what they see?