Making Connections and Creating Masterpieces

So, I was reading an O. Henry short story at the suggestion of a friend and came to discover a treasure that I either read as a child and didn’t remember having done so, or that I had missed altogether.  Not a tragedy, though, to encounter it now as I’m much older because I do believe the level of appreciation is immeasurably greater.  Connections are always a part of my reading…there’s always some detail in the character’s persona or the setting, etc. that I can immediately relate to.  In “The Last Leaf,” it seems unlikely that Old Behrman will ever create his masterpiece…he’s been waiting for that inspiration for over 25 years – at least with the one blank canvas that sits in a corner.  My own easel sits in a studio, paints and pastels at the ready…  but, who has the time to paint?  There are many other connections to be considered, as well:  setting – New York City, ivy vines with leaves on red brick, and as a writer, I admired the style.

Old Behrman had one masterpiece – the last leaf…but it got me wondering, how many masterpieces is one allowed within a lifetime?  Masterpiece, opus, creation, composition, artistic expression of self.  The combining of distinct parts or elements to form a whole.  Really, then, not only can we each produce a masterpiece, but we are in and of ourselves, a masterpiece.  So we are really starting out with one in the can.  My mother, father, creator (the sun?  God? universe?), and my experiences have set the groundwork for this masterpiece that I began life as.  Oh, but I see the paint drips, the broken violin strings, the dangling modifiers.  As I tackle each one, I re-touch the flaws.

And, although I did not intend to discuss this self-discovery of my innate, not-yet complete masterpiece I call deb, I do also think about the other works in progress:  my children,  my home, my education, my writing, and that easel …

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Brainfluffs

Writing by Marnie Mitchell-Lister

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