Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Encouraging The Young

Yesterday I discovered some pictures on my telephone that I didn’t take. One of them is a picture of me sleeping in my Lazy Boy chair. The artist behind these photos appears to be a seven year old little girl named Chloe. I am happy she did this. First of all, I’m impressed she is smart enough to use my telephone to take pictures. In addition to the picture of me in dreamland, there are a number of photos of different things in my room from a variety of perspectives. I love it that my granddaughter is showing some artistic tendencies. Art is her favorite subject in school. Whenever she visits me on the weekends, she is always drawing and coloring and cutting things out to create something. She does a very good job of drawing whatever she is looking at or something that she is imaging. If you have young children, pay attention to what they do and what seems to give them joy. Gifts and talents take root in our youth. They can be encouraged and developed or ignored and discouraged. I always try to encourage whatever artistic endeavor that Chloe attempts. I probably didn’t do this very well with my own children and no one did it very well with me. We will all become who we are sooner or later and whatever is in us will find a way out. This reminds me of a song lyric from a classic blues song by John Lee Hooker, one of my favorite blues artists. In the song a father is talking to a mother about their child. The father says, “Let that boy boogie woogie. It’s in him and its got to come out”. Whatever our talent or gift, it’s got to come out or we will be forever frustrated. Sometimes it takes years to find our gift. I didn’t start seriously writing until I was 50 years old. So, whatever age you are, follow your bliss, be who you are, and do what you do, whether it’s painting, taking pictures, writing, or doing the boogie woogie.

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