This post is a well-deserved tribute to my sixteen year old daughter, Julia. The following is entirely her work, edited and formatted to the style I use for this blog.
Talent: Natural aptitude, or skill?
In art you are often told, “Oh you are so talented!”, or “You are so lucky to have such talent”. And for some it may truly be a talent, but if you are like me you didn’t pick up a pencil and suddenly know how to do everything you can do today. I practiced a lot, hard, for almost three years. I’ve spent hours reading articles and books, watching videos,and drawing, so to take all of that and chop it down to talent is belittling. To say I’m talented is not true, I am well practiced. I can’t say that about every person who does art, but I can say it about myself, Talent has nothing to do with my art ability… all it is, is passion and practice.
Author: Elsewhere in this blog you’ll find a few poems and pictures by Julia, they are some of the brightest gems in my own personal midden heap, and well worth digging for. In our lives some of us are lucky enough to encounter fallen Angels who fill our hearts with joy, our minds with inspiration, and our souls with satisfaction. Julia is one such. She is also the Julia within A Crystal Tear, a Fairy Tale I am currently expanding into a short book. By another name, Julia is also the principle heroine of Malmaxa. Unlike her father, Julia tends not to name her poems. Here is one I have titled “stars”, partially because it allows me to format the poem to the visual style I prefer.
~ Stars ~
I dreamt that I was the one who laid stars in the sky,
ultimate power under my finger tips.
When my childhood home was sold
I was told I have the perfect hands
to play the piano that sat in our dining room.
Fingers that reach key after key,
pressing gracefully against that ivory,
like only the gifted can.
I never learned to play the piano,
I played the trombone.
I was in the library, 16 years old,
fingers reaching for a book,
stretching to reach the wisdom of the top shelf.
A woman said she wished she had hands like mine,
fingers long and thin
that demand attention,
that accent long elegant limbs.
She told me “I bet you do ballet!”
I didn’t have the voice to say
“When I step on the dance floor, people get hurt.”
I dreamt that I laid the stars in the sky,
that my limbs sweep across,
and leave galaxies in their wake.
As a child my mother told me I’m like a baby giraffe,
with long elegant limbs
I don’t really know how to use.
I never learned how to play the piano,
my arms were the perfect length for the trombone.
I never learned how to dance a ballet,
but my fingers dance across pages of books
like that is all they were made to do.
I never did put the stars in the sky,
But I found someone who treats me like I do…
Author: Julia is wrong. As with others of her ilk, she is largely unaware she does indeed put the stars in the sky. And sometimes also, the tears in my eyes.