The theme for the Freedom of Expression Challenge this week is MYSTERY!
Mother Nature gently ran the long, delicate stamens of the Pink Fairy Duster through the water well and grabbed a few grains of turmeric with its moist ends.
She giggled at its human name. Pink Fairy Duster. If truth be told, she had given the plain little shrub a flower because she needed a good brush. And it had turned out perfectly. So soft and absorbent. Each stamen held just the right amount of water and pigment to allow for a perfect, even wash. Of course, the pink just happened to be local Bee’s favorite color. And she needed him to like it. She seemed to always be needing a new brush.
Humans, goddess bless them, had found some magic in her little tool. And she thought there was a good bit of symmetry to that. She liked to think that creating the views of the world held its own sense of magic. There was no real magic in it, really. It was what she did. But she generally received rave reviews. And that felt like magic. And then to have one of her tiniest creations – her little utilitarian flower – seen in such a special light, well, any mother knows the feeling of pride. She wondered briefly why humans seemed so reticent to see magic in their own children. Such uninspired names! Nothing to match the wonderment one expects from Pink Fairy Duster.
But never mind that. It was getting late. Or early. She needed to get this painting finished. How many days in a row had she let her foggy thoughts delay her work? She was determined to have Sun spotlight a finished painting today. Crisp details. Full views. This was her goal.
Thin layers of turmeric were perfect for the shades of gold that Sun brought out in the little green shrubs that dotted the prairie. It had the perfect mustard tinge. Boiled marigolds and lemon peels rendered a purer yellow, sure, but it was way too bright for shrubs; made them look artificial. She had found that out the hard way. No, that kind of yellow worked better for sunrises. That diffused glow that hovered right between the madder rose of the horizon and the dark cabbage mauves of a barely lit sky. Of course, the shrubs would look funny for a while, like misplaced yellow clouds, but once you came back and started layering the greens from mint or spinach, they developed like a magic Polaroid. And slowly, with layer upon layer of color, lights and then darks and then shadows, she could capture the details of the world.
Her paintings were the world made clear. Humans were a visual lot, but their eyes had limitations. The world was so multi-layered, it could seem encrusted to the human eye. Like a film had been deposited over the world, the layers and layers of details often became blurred. How many times had an entire forest been obscured by a million trees? So, she painted. And like a camera that captured a person’s soul, her paintings captured the essence of the world. And they held all the details static, where the quiverings of life could no longer render the world in vague views.
She smiled. To her watercolor mirrored the world, literally and figuratively. Layers and layers of washes. Thin and translucent at first. A vague, blurred view. Then veils of color, slowly applied, that recreated the world from general to specific. Those finer details sliding into focus where the layers were thickest, the colors most intense. The mysteries of the world explained by a few brushstrokes.
Sun was close. She was still having to strain her eyes a bit to differentiate her pigments, but horizon was already beaming in anticipation. Horizon was never good with secrets; always telegraphing any new event like semaphore. Waving around dark clouds when Storm decided to blow through. Brandishing the pied colors of the raindrops when Summer Rain tired and trickled away. And here now, already tickled pink to see Sun, and him at least half an hour away. But Sun was nothing if not punctual. So, his arrival was never too much of a mystery anyway. He wasn’t fooling anyone, showing up a few minutes earlier every morning.
Suddenly a wave of panic washed over her. Sun was here. Shedding light on her painting before it was done! She shook her head, chastising herself. Another unfinished work. Another foggy day.