It’s funny that I am just now recognizing the real impact this art piece may have actually had in my life as I think back on my memories of it and the choices I may have made.
I grew up in a small town in Wyoming. I was around 6 years old when I moved into my own bedroom and no longer shared with my brothers. My parents framed and hung this painting above my bed. My mom had been saving it since I was born, just feeling like it was meant for me. I used to think of this painting as a fairy tale because playing the violin was something that I thought only happened on TV, or the occasional really old man fiddling at the fairgrounds. The violin was not an option for a little small town Wyoming girl, so it seemed like such a fantastical image in my room!
I did start piano lessons at a young age and loved it. Music was always a part of our home, and something my grandmother especially encouraged in us my entire life. Then in middle school, we left the only home I had ever known and moved to a town with a grocery store and a stop light — I thought this Southern Utah town was going to eat me, it was so large! I have never been really shy, but walking up to my new school was one of the hardest things I had done at that point in my life… until I saw a brown-haired girl with a pony tail walk into school with an instrument that looked like a violin! Never had it ever crossed my mind at that point that an actual real life human my age could just be carrying one of those around. And before I left school that day, I was signed up for orchestra!
“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life, and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.” – Georgia O’keefe
I think art can make us brave. It can instill an image into our minds that helps us believe something is possible. Even though I had never seen a girl play the violin in my life other than that painting on my wall, and even though many of the kids in the orchestra had been playing the violin for years and years, somehow in the back of my mind I knew I could do it too. And on that first terrifying day of school, I was brave enough to find myself a violin.
When we moved, I went back to sharing my room for a time and the picture never made it back up onto my wall. I had quite honestly forgotten all about it until a few years ago, when my mom pulled it out of storage wondering if I would want it for my daughter. But in those first years of moving loneliness, I spent hours and hours sitting at the foot of my bed, with dolls lined up listening to me practice. I would pretend they were my audience while I performed in the grandest of concert halls. Even into high school as I prepared for scholarships and competitions, though the dolls made their way out of my room, I would go outside and play for our dog and the birds, letting my imagination take me to Carnegie hall and the grandest cathedrals with stained glass windows. It was something I truly loved, and despite feeling very behind when I first started violin, playing that instrument has grown into one of the greatest blessings of my life.
I could talk about why I love the violin and art for 5,000 more blog posts, but here is what I want more than anything…
“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand—as if it were necessary to understand—when it is simply necessary to love.” – Claude Monet
I don’t think people are out discussing my art per se, but I feel like I spend far too much time trying to understand, “Why is this happening?” or “Why did this person leave?” or “Why is God letting this happen?” I would love if the simple message of these art pieces that have been created to accompany the life story of our Master and Healer could simply portray His love…
That’s the reminder I would love this art to create in homes and in hearts.