The Painter

Like in the fairy tales, the young painter woke up
            and saw she had a magic paintbrush
            (or was it the paints, the canvas?).
As she moved her brush, the painting itself gradually
            became transparent and just blended into her reality.

Miraculous as this was, she could not paint what she wanted,
            only what was true for her.
            So she did that.
She painted all her multi-hued emotions,
            her heart overflowed onto the canvas,
            which became inseparable from her world.

She saw that this had always been true—
            like a paint-by-numbers book
            where she would color in
            the bones of reality
            and that became how the world looked to her.

As she matured, a certain gate inside her began to unlatch.
            When she stepped outside it,
            when she saw life without blinders on,
the world became very beautiful,
            even as the blemishes,
            the limitations, appeared crystal clear.
Her paintings became deeper, subtler,
            taking on a life of their own.
They started glowing with an inner light,
            adopting many forms,
            but all just reflecting one source of beauty,
            the way we all reflect the light of the sun.

Finally, like the Zen masters of old,
            she saw that she didn’t need her paintbrush any more,
            that her vision of the way things are was her world,
            and had been all along.

She painted without paints,
            she loved without limits,
            she gave thanks for everything,
            she blessed the world.

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