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 “My role in society, or any artist or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader but as a reflection of us all.”

John Lennon 

We were the only two people in an empty room. I stared into his eyes with what appeared to be an unwavering confidence, but in reality, was merely a desolate peer bombarded by my insecurities and fears. Completely naked, vulnerabilities exposed; I quivered with embarrassment and fought the desire to hide my defenseless psyche from his intense glare. His eyes gleamed above the easel every few moments and penetrated my soul. He’d smile, paint and smile again, and I fought tears trying to understand how one could regard a woman in admiration with such ugly internal scarring. 

Feelings of loneliness, yearning for love, and a plague of paternal deficit bruised my flesh. I was covered in black and blues. Where did he find the motivation to use yellows, violets and oranges on the somber canvas: a portrait my internal conflicts. How could such pultritude represent what I had been going through on the inside? Nevertheless, he invited me from behind the easel to get a glimpse into his world. I slowly walked to the front of the room. My knees quivered and my palms were sweaty. I forced myself to look at the canvass, unsure of what to expect or how I would react. I plied open my eyes, I took a deep breath and there it was… A mirror—just a mirror— my reflection; and it was beautiful.


Featured Photo by Mary Qian.

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