"I've been drawing and painting since I was a child. I guess that once I got a little older, I began to think I was good at it. I enjoyed it, too. I remember working on this painting that summer, adding to it everyday, changing it as our relationship changed. I don't even remember how it started or what I wanted it to be, but somehow it evolved into this. I remember being unable to stop painting after I went home that summer. I think it was my way of avoiding the pain I was going through. Anyway, I ended up majoring in art in college because it was something I had to do; I remember spending hours in the studio all by myself and enjoying every minute. I loved the freedom I felt when I created, the way it made me feel inside to make something beautiful. Just before I graduated, my professor, who happened to also be the critic for the paper, told me I had a lot of talent. He told me I should try my luck as an artist. But I didn't listen to him."
She stopped there, gathering her thoughts.
"My parents didn't think it was proper for someone like me to paint for a living. I just stop after a while. I haven't touched a brush in years."
She stared at the painting.
"Do you think you'll ever paint again?"
"I'm not sure if I can anymore. It's been a long time."
"You can still do it, Allie. I know you can. You have a talent that comes from inside you, from your heart, not from your fingers. What you have can't ever go away. It's what other people only dream about. You're an artist, Allie."
The words were spoken with such sincerity that she knew he wasn't saying it just to be nice. He truly believed in her ability, and for some reason that meant more to her than she expected. But something else happened then, something even more powerful.
I feel connected to this passage of the book in some ways. Even though those words are spoken to Allie and not to me, but it has gone beyond her. I can imagine when I can't design any more or feel like I've lost my passion for that moment, those words are spoken to me. Those words bring me to believe in myself and my ability again. It's a confirmation of ability when there is uncertainty. Those are comforting words.
On this note, I haven't read a fiction in a long time. Probably the only fiction I've read during these few years is Tuesday with Morrie. I've forgotten how much I can indulge myself in a book. The other day I saw Keri reading a book by Nicholas Sparks and we had a discussion about his books. I've heard that "The Notebook" is good but have never really got around in reading the book or seeing the movie. I've decided to borrow it from Keri. I've been reading mostly self-help biblical based books. This is a nice change. It's one of those things where I can stay up, wanting to read it.