She ran up the stairs, two at a time, to the small table in the corner of her bedroom. The tabletop was a now a spatter of colors – cerulean, jade, magenta. She opened an old leather briefcase filled with paint tubes and brushes. As she sat, she drank in the sharp smell of turpentine, the linseed of the paints, the cottony linen of the canvas, and smiled. She was home. Time melted away, and her heart began to flutter with love. She looked at the blank canvas, closed her eyes, and her hand began to dream on the paper.
She sat down at the small table she’d placed in front of her bedroom window. The room itself was tiny, barely enough room to stand and walk around now that she’d brought the table up from the basement. The chair was still dusty in spots, the wicker backing was fraying, and it looked tired next to the small table; but the view out the window was vast.
Our culture dictates that good people are productive, and in the Midwest, hardworking people create things that have purpose. Even though I was writing every day, my non-writing time was becoming a contest, between my inner self that delighted in writing for no purpose other than joy, and my social self that was flailing about, looking for an assignment to complete, for something to create.