My daughter wasn’t in the napping mood today. She wanted to dance around and play dress up and sing and do all the things four year olds do. Ah well, might as well enjoy it, I thought to myself, she won’t be young forever.
I had had so much fun last night collaborating with the girl, playing around with a coloring app for kids, so I decided to relaunch the app; I asked her if she wanted to color with me again, and she enthusiastically agreed.
What strikes me as we go about coloring these pictures together is how different her ideas are from mine. I end up with my set way of seeing the world–the grass needs to be green, the sky blue, and a cat should be brown, white, black, grey, or orange…My daughter sees the world with fresh eyes and has strong opinions about the color everything should be.
“No, the kitty is PINK!” she announced.
“Okay,” I said, and I colored the cat’s face, hands, and feet pink.
“No,” she said, “The dress too!” It was a polka dotted dress, so I colored the background pink and was going to leave the dots white.
“NO, no no!” she persisted, “The polka dots too!” And there went my ideas of interesting color contrast and careful distribution of color to achieve balance in the over all look. The cat had to be all pink.
I ended up really loving the drawing. Her ideas continually freshen the art experience for me by getting me out of my ingrained perceptions and showing me a new way of seeing. I play outside of my strict rules for conduct, I get to be free for a moment. It reminds me of how when I sit down to meditate I need to quiet the mental chatter enough to allow for something different–a clearer, more quiet mental space, so that I can have this experience of myself outside of all of the habitual thoughts.
If I do this coloring with my daughter with enough frequency, letting go of my mental constructs and embracing the moment with an open heart, I might just attain enlightenment.
So here it is, in all of its glory, yet another pink kitty. (Dig the balloon that had to be brown.) May all beings–especially those who long to create–experience freedom and lightness. Everyone needs a little pink kitty in their lives.