I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.
When I was in 5th grade, I was waiting for the bus one winter morning and saw a blue jay. He was brazen, as jays are, and boldly sat on the fence, not five steps away. I was amazed to see that the blue jay was not all blue. He had black and white on his feathers, too. I studied him while waiting for the bus, trying to memorize the colors.
That day in school, we had art. The teacher told us to draw and color something we had seen that morning. With the blue jay fresh in my mind, I set to the task. Sketching the bird wasn’t hard, but when I started adding the color, my table-mates began snickering.
I had painted the blue and then added some black. They were laughing at the black. I grew indignant.
“It had black on its wings,” I told them, insistently. “I saw it.”
My blue jay was an ugly mess. The black had taken over and the beauty of the bird was gone.
That day I decided that I was not an artist.
But I knew that I never would be.
Because of the blue jay.
Last week I went to art class. For the first time in about 40 years.
Our first assignment was to draw and paint something from memory, and the blue jay flew through my mind again. Would this be another epic fail?
Judge for yourself.