Creation Through Chaos

Written by Kerry Elizabeth Blickenderfer-Black on 24 November, 2013

Elvira knew looking out at the night sky that the brightest of the stars was long ago dead.  It just did not know to stop its shine.

She contemplated how to capture that radiance, swirling her paints together to achieve the desired effect.  The sable brush danced across the canvas, and Elvira painted, entranced, convinced that the canvas and oils conspired to create, using her and her brush as their willing instruments.  A symphony played in spurts with each stroke, the inspiration quieting while she contemplated like watchful musicians keeping tempo with their conductor.

Some deep burgundy and violet she added to the foreground, filling it with floral landscapes and architecture of decaying grandeur.  The violet shade reminded her of her Grandmother’s eyes, so gentle, eyes that saw only the best in her grandchild.  Elvira smiled and breathed deep the heady aroma of the painters’ perfumes, light-headed with euphoria.  Her piece was nearly complete, and it exceeded her initial vision in splendor and scope. 

The artwork felt cool yet inviting.  The brush strokes imitated the soft, spring breezes that tickled poetic fancies.  Discordant bits could be seen peeking from the shadows, reminders that life is but fleeting and joy could be as quickly ended as a misplaced step in a waltz. 

There was still much that she wished to do, many more pieces that her creative heart cried out to make solid, to be seen.  Whole aspects of her life were unrevealed, and within her mind, the guilty crept from the burden-filled shadows of their own making, forced to stand illuminated by popular opinion.  They might walk through sunlight unblistered and without paying for their crimes, but in her artwork, their secrets stood stark against her sweetly contemplated scenery.  In torment, Elvira remained locked in a conundrum of creation. 

Despite their threats, Elvira was brave and told what the perpetrators would keep secret.  She recounted the horrid details, forced to relive each of the demeaning acts.  Her tale was pulled through microscopes of scrutiny by the overworked and largely uncaring powers that be, her youthful credibility weighed against that of her well-established accused. 

As Elvira cleaned her brushes, careful to preserve the integrity of the bristles, her eyes clouded over with tears from a heart near to breaking.  She no longer desired the company of others, only her paints and her memories, the good ones that did not make her double over in reaction or wake her in sweating screams from half-recalled dreams, shattering the peace of morning.

Elvira would depict her secrets, reveal what others would manhandle into shadows, but only in her own time and her own way now.  When she tried to direct the course through legal means, as advised, it was unsuccessful and worse, because it left her knowing that injustice went unpunished. The experience proved that to the world at large, her word was not worth as much as the abusers’ reputations. 

Watching them walk laughing, unpunished, to embrace their sunny-haired children forged within her a profound, psychological wall on which she stood, stricken mute, tears obscuring her view of the world.  The experience changed Elvira, made her distrustful and timid, unable to enjoy any sort of intimacy, but at her core, she was filled with a desire to make beautiful even the ugliest of ruins.  Her therapist advised Elvira to continue to create, that through such internal exploration, she might find freedom from the oppression of her many imposed fears.

She stood at the wall and hammered with her optimism, struggling for footholds in the surrounding slime.  She scaled the wall, finding her resolve in the loveliest of childhood recollections.  She discovered personal peace knowing that there would be a final reckoning, that such acts would be then projected for all to see.  The power of truth would cause her wall tumble, block by burdensome block, like Jericho falling to Joshua’s blaring trumpets. Through Elvira’s art, the truth would wiggle free from the strangle-hold within her to contemplate that bright star on a still May evening and glow on, though many wished it would long ago simply die.