The Painter

The Painter

A Short Story by D. F. Wharton

The painter stood back and looked over his work. Very well, there it is, he said to himself, what’s done is done. With that he put down his palette and brush and did not bother to take one last look around at the world he had been living in. He had seen enough of that world. It was time to move on. He took a deep breath and felt a slight tendency of fear and hesitation. He had a small lack of confidence, just enough to keep a man from true progress and personal change.

He quickly judged those notions in himself as false and repented of them. No, he told himself, you are not being hasty. You have been working on this painting for some time. This painting is yours, he said to himself. The picture is ready. Now is the time.

He took a deep breath and ran toward his painting. He did not pack a bag, for he did not need his things. There would be things where he was going. He had learned that it is hard to move around when you become attached to things. Now he was running at a good speed. When he was upon his picture he leaped onto the canvas and disappeared into the painting, never to return to his previous world.

After the painter landed in his new world he got a job and gathered the materials he needed to start painting again, as was his custom. His loved ones, his family, were still with him. They always would be. He painted and painted some more, always improving, always getting better, always adding to his game, so to speak. Life can be good, he once told a woman who was complaining at work, but you’ve got to find a way to paint it into your picture. But I don’t know how to paint, she had said. Neither does anybody else, he replied with a sly smile. Neither does anybody else. It is in that understanding that you will find the freedom and confidence to begin a journey that can only be yours. Stop trying to think about it, said the painter. You have an inner voice.

Learn to listen.

Learn to paint.