Emily Saldivia: “Finger Paints”
Tomorrow's Voices Today
I stared at the exploding canvas in front of me. The paint was dripping down and splattering onto the concrete of my backyard. It would stay there forever; acrylic paint is almost impossible to get off of anything. My palms were drenched in blue, red, and yellow but they mixed together to make an awful shade of brown. I wanted to rub my hands all over the wet canvas to blend the primary colors together but I didn’t dare to move. It looked too perfect. But not perfect in the pretty way. No, the painting was perfectly imperfect.
It showed everything I was feeling. Rage. Emotion. Life. Somehow every little detail that was bottled up in my chest was splattered imperfectly on a canvas. My arms were sore, they hurt from all the throwing of almost empty paint bottles where they laid lifelessly on the old sheets from my old bed from when I was in elementary.
I grabbed the dirty cloth. It smelled like Windex, bleach, paint, and old candy. The fabric seemed so breakable as I clenched it in my fist. Did my seven year old self ever imagine that I would turn out like this when I grew up?
But I guess life never goes as planned. As I look back, I would give everything to be as young as I once was. Another drop of yellow paint dripped to the floor. I was once yellow. I was once full of life, excitement, and joy. But it all drained out of me. Like the empty paint bottles.
And then I grew older, and I got confused. I was thrown off the road that I so desperately wanted to be a part of as a child. And from the bright and bursting yellow that I once was, I was replaced by blue. The somber shade of blue swallowed up my heart and soul.
I wanted nothing more than to be everything but a single color. I wanted to be blue, red and yellow all at once. I wanted to be filled with questioning blue, courageous red, and binding yellow.
I glanced at the Mason jar that was full of crusty paint brushes. I wanted to grab a brush and make a picture out of the splatter of paint that was on the canvas. But, then the painting wouldn’t be mine. It wouldn’t be me. Because I am not a perfect picture. I was once a white, plain, blank canvas but then life threw color at me. Making a pretty picture out of color of life wouldn’t make it a living masterpiece. Another splatter of paint dripped to the ground. I smiled.
Jackson Pollock would be proud of me.
I am a creative person and I relish in the emotions that are hidden behind colors and words. I want people to feel the way I do, to see situations from my point of view, and to live behind my eyes. People call me a dreamer, one who gets too wrapped up in imagination rather than the living world. Making a change has always been my top priority. And it doesn’t have to be a large impact, but I want to do something that is meaningful with my life. No one else is as committed to this belief as I am. I want to be the author who writes a book that makes a little girl smile because she wishes she was in the pages. I want to create art that will make a lonely boy feel like he’s not alone anymore. I want to do something creative that will change someone.
I don’t care if I don’t become the next Gandhi, or Picasso, or J.K. Rowling. I don’t want to be any of them. I want to be the girl who is known for wanting and achieving more than just what is at arm’s reach.
[alert type=alert-white ]Please consider making a tax-deductible donation now so we can keep publishing strong creative voices.[/alert]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emily Saldivia, born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, is a freshman at Woodbury University studying Professional Writing. She is the daughter of two immigrant parents from Argentina and aspires to one day publish her collection of poems. Emily first discovered her passion for poetry as a freshman in high school when her first poem was published through her school. She currently resides in North Hills with her family, 2 cats, and dog.
Previous ArticleCubans Confront Changing Winds