The Bridge

 In Weekly Forum Discussion, Writer in Residence


Written by: Collette Cottingham; Guardian Angels


I had lunch on a bridge. This isn’t the first time. It won’t be the last. I like to eat here. This place reminds me of my Grandmother. I park on Lilac. Why? Because it was her favorite color. Just seeing the word makes me think of her. I smile. She is still here. I carry her with me. She loved this place.

The meal was pleasant. Surprisingly there was no conversation. Even my thoughts were quiet. I was people watching. The bridge has multiple view points. On one side is a view of the street. The other side has a view of the escalators. Below me is a large map. Above my head the sky is the limit. And there before me what do I see? A tree, my tree of joy I think. I know it is the view of the escalators, but I saw my tree of joy. It was reminding me my tree is still here. Even on rainy, gloomy, winter days, joy is still all around.

Next I crossed the bridge and ventured out of my comfort zone. I went to the pottery shop. I have passed by this place probably a hundred times. I don’t venture inside. I am not an artist. I can’t draw let alone paint. But there I was. I reminded myself that artists come in many forms. My writing is my art work. I enjoy writing. I enjoy dancing. This painting was so not me. Time to cross the bridge!

I walked in the shop and everything was neat and color coordinated. It was organized. Now this was me. I selected a bowl, ten colors of paints and a table to sit.

Painting is foreign to me. I enjoyed squeezing my paints onto a palette. I mixed paint and brushes. My paint strokes went every which way. My pot had a defect which I thought was perfect. It was just like me.

I carefully painted my bowl. I observed the other artists working. Their work was magnificent. They could make money of their designs. Then there was mine. I had no thought in my head. My mind was clear. I let my body take over. I painted three designs that I think look like flowers. Then for fun I tried to paint a figure from my past. She ended up being a smeared mess. I guess I can draw her better than I can paint her.

I could have painted forever. I kept wanting to fix things and add a little more here and there. I began to understand why artists spent years on some works and others they never finished. I beamed with pride at my bowl. Then I realized I had more paint on me then my bowl…oops.

I crossed the bridge and discovered the art form of painting and it was joyful.


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