When I was growing up being square wasn’t a good thing. It meant odd. Not mainstream. Weird.
Today I’m here to say that age 48, I am officially square – Imagination Squared, that is.
Let me explain.
A mere five years ago, I had the worst year of my life. I won’t bore you about why but I want you to know that during that time, God gave me a friend, the art teacher at the school where I was working. Many days as I cried during my 20-minute-long lunches she listened, cared and encouraged – just like Jesus.
Since that time, our paths have changed but that important intersection -us meeting and becoming friends – became the bridge to a flourishing friendship not bound by requirements of proximity. We share our current projects – she’s pitching a beautiful travel book she’s written and illustrated – and I’m completing a children’s picture book text, thinking about my middle school creative writing classes for the next school year and adjusting to being the mom of a high school graduate.
Recently, my friend emailed about an art project in which she had participated. It intrigued me, so I clicked on the link she provided to see a visual smorgaborg of beauty – hundreds of impressively decorated and painted 5″ squares arranged on a grid. I followed her directions as to which row and column and I found her fabulous fortune cookie square.
Hmmm, I thought. This square thing might not be too hard and I needed a new one-time endeavor. So, before I came to my senses, I had contacted her, told her of my desire to try painting a square and the next thing I know I’m sitting in her beautiful art studio with large glass walls overlooking a backyard pond.
“Make yours have something to do with your writing,” she suggested. She didn’t realize how fatigued I was from bad dreams about the project the previous night. In those dreams, I never actually finished because I could never decide how to begin. It’s like saying describe your life in 25 words or less but on a block of wood and with paint.
Fortunately, reality reigns and between our brainstorming efforts and a little googling online, my task was cast. I carefully marked my square with one-quarter inch deep horizontal lines. The lines – which I’d erase later – would hold my handwriting in black ink, an actual cursive copy of a recent blog post I had written here.
Afterward, I superimposed a beautifully intertwined Alpha and Omega and painted it black. I was nervous but determined. Soon the project was complete, the pencil lines were gone and my disbelieving eyes were amazed.
Not a Picasso, I thought, but a Lemine and the only one of its kind. Symbolically, the handwriting repesents my life and passion for words designed to inspire, encourage and cause periodic out-loud laughs. The Alpha-Omega represent God and how I want others to see Him in my life. The icon dried transparently and that pleased me because it made me hope others can see me through God.
And then – I sprayed my square with clear sealer and autographed it like a real artist. Not too bad for a novice, I thought.
In fact, being square was actually very fun!
Eventually, my square will be added to the ongoing grid of others currently displayed online. If you’d like more information about this Creative Response Experiment, go to: www.imginationsquared.com. There are hopes for it to have a permanent home for the public to view.
Just wondering: Tell me about a time you squared off with yourself to do something totally new.