Splashed Canvas Under The Blue Moon

Colored canvas are scattered inside a small studio right at the corner of a ten story building he rents in the heart of France, Paris. The decision of pursuing a career that enables him to project his emotions through colors was his best decision, although sometimes it comes with undeniably questionable results. Sighing heavily, he takes another blank canvas and stares at it.

No matter what colors he tries to paint on it, he feels like it’s not having the harmony he’s looking for. It’s his fifth try, so he is hoping that this one is the last attempt on the final project of his collection: a Contentment.

A soft knock lands on his wooden door.

“Come in,” he says, putting down the canvas as he turns around. “Oh, it’s you. What’s up?”

“Nothing. I just want to see how it’s going with your last piece.”

He quenches. “It’s definitely not going as I planned. I don’t want to repaint everything since I already love the previous pieces I’ve made, so I just need to figure out what’s the perfect last piece I can paint.”

“How can I help?”

“I’m not sure, though. How about we sit down over a cup of tea for the night? Maybe we can talk about life and I can get a little inspiration from there. Are you in?”

“Of course. Let me brew some tea and set up the balcony. I’ll knock back when everything’s ready.”

“Sounds like a plan,” he smiles, “Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it.”

He inhales slowly, trying to calm the chaos inside his mind. The pressure of having to finish the piece so he can showcase it in his personal exhibition is finally getting to him. It’s still months away, but he wants to make sure he is prepared for everything.

He is always that kind of person who has plans for almost everything, yet at the same time, he is also up for surprises or simply goes with the flow. He has the ability to quickly read the room, to adapt, and blends into the said situation. He is strict with time, so he is willing to push until he reaches the finish line he had set up before.

He looks around the room, feeling a little bit frustrated over the canvas he had used to make the final art piece.

“Hey. Tea’s brewed.” A voice greets his ears, “Wanna roll with it?”

“Let’s go.”

Summer in Paris isn’t exactly his favorite season because it’s too hot to his liking, yet when summer is ending and autumn is getting near, the wind temperature and the ambience of the city itself becomes his comfort.

The chamomile tea that was brewed earlier has a light sweet taste to his tongue, leaving a trail of warmth down his throat. They sit in a comfortable silence, embracing the beauty of the moon that illuminates Paris.

“How’s life going on for you?” He finally speaks, trying to thread a conversation between them.

She shrugs, her shoulder drops a little. “Nothing much. I’m tied to my routine, making the best out of the twenty-four hours offered to me every single day, trying to balance everything.”

“Sounds tough.”

“It is tough at first. Eventually you’ll get used to it. I think it’s just how life works. When you step out of your comfort zone, everything feels like a burden. Feels like you can’t even handle it.” She smiles thinly, “You get to sort out things. Make priority. Know what’s best for you and what doesn’t work for you. I think in the end it all is fair.”

“Fair?”

“Your life is made up from choices you made. When we make choices that we don’t know how it’ll affect our life then it turns ugly, we often blame ourselves and start making countless ‘what ifs’ scenarios.”

He doesn’t reply. A subtle sign for her to continue.

“The truth is, we can’t turn back time. Most of the time, we can’t change what we chose, and we just.. simply have to make the best out of it. So there’s one mantra I try to say each morning.”

“What is it?”

“You wanna hear it?” She lets out a small laugh, “It’s kinda embarrassing at some point, you know?”

He nods. “Of course?”

She takes a big deep breath. “Please give me strength to accept things that I cannot change, the courage to change things that I can, and the wisdom to know the differences.”

“That was…”

“I know.”

No words needed. She understands what he means without him shouting it out loud.

“How about you?”

He sips his warm tea, trying to make sense out from what he’s been going through. It’s not easy putting it into words, as sometimes it may lack the true meaning of what he actually feels.

Hence why he always expresses it by splashing colors on top of the canvas.

“It’s a little bit hard for me to put it into words,” he lets out a soft sigh, “but I guess I’m still trying to find my own meaning of contentment. I’m still crawling my way there, because the road is bumpy and it’s not a path with flower petals scattered all over it.”

“Have you at least know what makes you feel content?”

“I’m proud of the progress I’ve made so far.” He smiles sheepishly, “I know it’s not that big but I’m still proud of it.”

“Hey,” She squeezes his shoulder lightly, “you should be proud of yourself. Even I am really proud of you and the progress you’ve made so far. No one could match the changes you’ve made in your life.”

“Thank you.”

“So, may I ask if the series of paintings you have expresses how you feel or view certain events in your life? Or is it how you would express your view on contentment in life in general?”

“I personally viewed it as how I feel or view certain events in my life.” His eyes wander to the horizon, “Those events feel like my stepping stone. Looking back, without it I wouldn’t be the person I am today. It acts like a catalyst, something that helps you to burn really quickly even though you don’t want it and you have to catch up with it or else you’ll be dragged around.”

“I take it that you have already poured out your views about contentment in life in those previous three canvases, so what’s your original plan with the last one? Is it about how you view yourself today or is it about how you’ll view yourself in the future?”

“I have never really thought about it that way,” He mumbles, deep in his thought. “Hm.”

She pours another serving of tea to both cups before leaning back on the chair.

The question sends him thinking. What is he looking for to paint in the last canvas? It was easy for the prior three because he had overcome those events. Waves of thought suddenly come crashing to his mind, a sea of voices filling his head; what is he trying to express in the last canvas?

Is he trying to portray his contentment in the future or is he trying to portray what he is feeling right now?

Contentment, is a state of being happy with one-self, a state that one feels fulfilled. It may not represent that one has to gain everything in order to feel content, but at the very least, contentment means that one can be happy with who they are, what they have and where they are.

It is a state of accepting one self.

“You know, I might’ve found the answer.” He says, “I may have figured out what I need to express in my last canvas.”

“That’s great.” She replies, “Now what are you waiting for? Go grab that brush and get creative!”

-

Colors and songs are collaborating inside his small studio, brush dancing on top of the canvas. Hours passed by almost in an instant, now that the sun is peeking shyly from the horizon, splashing the sky with its signature golden hue mixing with the navy from the night that has just ended.

As he puts his finishing touch to the art and finally able to put the brush down, the morning has gently come to greet him. It was mesmerizing, in fact, he has never spent an entire night long to paint, yet it may also be the fastest piece he ever completed.

The piece is dominated in a color he thought to be himself, blue, but the one he no longer knew. The blue inside his art is a symbol of freedom from pain and anxiety, depression and fear. It represents that those feelings may sometimes come to surface yet he knows that he is fully in control of it. He had grown to get to know himself even more, and with this piece, he hopes that the road lies ahead of him and his future will only be filled with flowers and will be less bumpier than the road he had chosen before. Small scattered dots around the blue based art represent the waves of emotions he feels, other brushes represent the people that have been with him throughout his journey.

He smiles.

This is the perfect last piece for his collection.

“You’re still blue.”

He turns around. She’s standing behind him, her obsidian iris glued to his canvas.

“What do you think?”

She hums. “Blue as the bright sky on a summer day, blue as the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean. This really describes you well as a person.” She opens her arms wide, “Come here. You deserve a hug.”

He raises one of his eyebrows, baffled, yet still comes to return her hug. “What’s this hug for?”

“As a reminder that you can always lean on me when things get too hard, when the sky’s light rain annoys you and you want to borrow my umbrella, and as a reminder that you can always remember me as your resting camp. All you need to do is just simply reach me out, and I promise I’ll always be there no matter what time it is. You’ll soar high like a mighty eagle, because you have everything you need to reach where you want within yourself.”

He chuckles. “Thank you.”

“Don’t forget, eagles come down to rest their wings too.”

“I’ll try.”

She pulls away, her eyes a little glassy. “Congratulations, I’m beyond proud of you. Seeing how you grow and make each step in your life counts, I’m just glad I can be a part of it.”

He is at a loss of words. “I — “

She smiles gently. “I can’t wait to see this in your exhibition.”

“Will you be there?”

“I won’t miss it for the world.”

— — — END

Author’s Note: This story is dedicated to someone who I would never thought is going to be one of the people I hold dearly in my heart and life.

One of the few I hold as precious, someone I truly respect, care and love.

The muse to every words I’ve poured on this blank piece of paper; for every single little stories I’ve published so far in the past few months.

A blessing to my life; the one who able to calm the storm inside my mind, putting ease to my restless heart.

The one who crack simple jokes yet reminds me how I used to laugh in the past, freely. The one who always brightens up my day, truly such a keeper.

The one who taught me to be a better person each day, the one I consider as one of my emotional pillar, my core support system.

The one who taught me to swim but also lends a hand to pull when the waves are stronger. The one who taught me the art I’ve struggled to learn over the years: the art of choosing oneself.

Dear Jordan,

Our first interaction was really random. We met virtually in Liyue and travelled through Teyvat for months, but look where it brought us. I’m forever grateful that you put so much trust in me, I’m forever grateful that when I was on my knees asking God to let whatever He thinks is the best for me, He sent you to me.

To be really honest, you’re the best gift God has ever sent to me.

With you, I can be vulnerable and stop being so strong for a while, yet still feel safe and comfortable. I feel like I can share anything and you won’t even judge me. In all honesty, you make me believe that true, deep connection does exists after all.

The cherry on top?

You’re the reason I’m standing in a path that is not easy, but feels right. It feels right because a dream is supposed to be rewarding; it is mean to be reached with hard work and passion.

If that night did not happen, I won’t be here.

You changed my life, in the best way possible.

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an author with a messy mind.

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bucheonddalgi

bucheonddalgi

an author with a messy mind.

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