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No Rules in Art!

It’s about 3:00 in the afternoon. The Easter traditions have been observed. Our kids are doing the “leavin’ on a jet plane” thing. This Grammy is pretty tired.

It’s been great! A whole week with the Mighty Mini Women! Still pretty mini, but mightier every visit. At 6 and 8, we still have the occasional meltdown. I noticed, though, that their first move is usually saying what they feel or want or need. I’m thrilled for them!

We played princess. We dyed eggs. We picked herbs in the garden. We read lots of Dr. Seuss. Well, mostly they read. Grammy is still coughing. And covered in bruises from trying to fit two extra squirmy people with really boney knees in my chair.

Mostly, though, we did art. Covered in tattered T-shirts, we christened the old table on the deck with creativity. First we painted wooden bunnies. This led to many questions.

What color should they be, Grammy?

Do I paint one side or the whole thing?

What color eyes do bunnies have?

What if I make a mistake?

My response? “There are no rules in art!”

And then the midrash…the commentary…

It’s your project, honey. Any way you want is perfect! Any color. Any style. Just what you feel like!

They were a bit puzzled. “What are the rules?” they asked again.

“There are no rules in art!”

“I could ask you some questions to help you get started, if you’d like.”

“Yes!” Loudly.

And so we went through several variations on, “What are you trying to accomplish?”

Realistic? Or fairy tale?

Baby bunny? Or grown up?

Eyes the same color as yours? Or different?

Which colors do you want on your palate? (Plastic plate, to the rest of us!)

Do you want to mix the colors or keep them apart?

By this time, we were busy! Two different styles. A bit of, “Who’s right?” Considerable spilled paint requiring assurance that the table was only getting prettier. Lots of baby wipes.

A couple of tears on my part.

I never had this experience when I was small. Nor when I was through being small.

I believe, though. I believe that we are as close to God as we get when we are creating. That Easter was mostly about a God bigger than the rules. That if we take a moment to notice the dogwoods and azaleas and daffodils we’re likely to come to the conclusion that all the colors are good. The words, too, for those of us who paint mostly in letters.

They’re headed home now. School starts again, tomorrow. I need a nap. Then, it’s time to start planning another visit. They change so fast! And they’re really good teachers!

For my part, there are quilts to finish and the new website design to wrap up. (If things like that get wrapped up!) Sarah will be home from camp tomorrow. And I have major appliances to buy. (Do they plan the cooperative strikes when you have a house full of extra people???) Seeds to plant, too.

And, amidst all that, the sure and certain knowledge  that the world should be filled with more love because he is risen! We’ve got some work to do!

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