With my head in the clouds

IMG_2156I don’t remember if there were any other kids in the Art Room that summer day, but I do remember the view out the northern window.

The teacher was a wonderfully rotund, middle-aged thing, with an apron like a dried up palette. Her hands had skin like tissue paper. The room was low-ceilinged and lino-floored. There is music in the memory too, but I don’t know if it was there in 1989.

My painting is close to complete. My house appears three dimensional (learned that from the tough kid in first grade with a Z in his name), my tree has branches hidden among the greenery and my sun floats contentedly within the thick azure line at the top of the A3.

It’s then I hear my name in her voice, feel her hand on my shoulder.

She points out beyond the school fence towards Hopkins Street. Asks me what I notice about the sky.

It’s blue.

Anything else?

It’s darker higher up and it’s lighter on the rooves of the houses

On the rooves of the houses?

The sky is on top of the houses?

The sky is on top of the houses. The sky is wrapped around the walls of those houses. The sky is pressed against this window, breathing through the holes in the flyscreen. The sky is in this Art Room…

There I stand, statued with paintbrush in a hand warmed by eight summers, staring out at the blue above the homes of my neighbours, breathing in the sky.

And I’m still there.

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~ by Daniel Townsend on February 21, 2013.

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