I was reminded this evening of my life’s motto. When I was a young boy, in Kindergarten, my first major memory of a scholastic experience was they day we learned how to finger paint. We were all given a large drawing that was printed on a big piece of construction paper. It was of some landscape scene, I do not remember exactly what it was. I remember some trees and a farmhouse and I think some sort of fence and a variety of animals. We were given several colors and we all got to dip our fingers into the paint and spread it around on the paper and color the scene given to us.
I got busy right away crafting my masterpiece. Lets just say it was more of an impressionistic representation and definitely a chaotic blend of colors. I think I like the tactical feel of sliding the gooey paint all over the paper more than anything. I had what probably looked to others as a brown blog smattered all over the piece of paper as my hands continued to make wide circles. The Kindergarten teacher stared down at me in disgust and with a bit of frustration told me that I needed to learn to pain within the lines. She said I was making a mess and that I needed to do what they other kids were doing and, “paint within the lines.”
I remember starting at her back as she walked away, and in a moment of sudden clarity, I made a solemn vow to myself. I whispered under my breath:
“I will never paint within the lines.”