BY: SABA SAEED, M.B.B.S., BATCH XX
And in the end, whether we were doctors or pilots or chefs, or none of these, each of us was, without fail, an artist.
Sure, some of us played with paint, and some with words. Some went on to paint the town red with blood. While some went about painting differently, one rosy-cheeked smile at a time.
Because the very second we inhaled the air of this earth, we were already changing it. As our chests expanded with that first sliver of a new universe and mingled with our raw bodies, this world became a part of us. And we, a part of it. In 9th-grade physics class, I once read that every sound wave leaves its mark when it collides with an object. With that first cry of pain, we marked this world with our presence.
And continue to do so. The four walls of my room are home to all I have been as I have grown. Every sound, every secret whispered, every prayer cried alone, settled deep within the walls.
This earth as it stands today is the result of a painted over canvas that God gave to us, with the free will to mold it as we may. It is our stage and we all come here to tell our story, each of us, simply a character. Each of us, dancing to the rhythm of this life. Critics to a painting we spend our whole lives decrypting, trying to find purpose in purpose itself.
Yet at times, we lose the color in our lives. The music sounds like a record from a bygone time, playing on repeat every hour of every day until it stops meaning anything anymore. We think our limbs to be too tired to dance in any rhythm any longer. We feel like the background character in the skit of our own story and somehow the painting makes sense to everyone but oneself.
But that’s just it, isn’t it?
Because we are the artists. I may not be one for speaking, but I truly believe that people can change the minute they believe they want to.
That even the color blind can make some sense out of shades of gray. That the song on the record player can change, as many times as you wish it to, until that one song that made your life purgatory is the one you play on a ride home on a Friday afternoon, a memory of strength you didn’t know you had. That even when you think you’re stuck in one place, paralyzed in your spot unable to move, your blood still flows with tremulous excitement inside of you, your heart dancing to its beat within your chest, each part exclaiming that it moves for you.
And sure. Maybe you’re unnamed guy number 3 in the story of your life. Maybe your character arc in this story won’t come up till you’re 78, looking back on a life that could have been lived a little more. Maybe your character arc will never come. But that doesn’t stop you from being the hero, the love interest, the mentor in someone’s else’s story. So go ahead. Sing the duet. When the curtains fall and the stage goes dark, you might just be remembered as the unexpectedly cool side character who didn’t upstage the main, but still stole the show. The one who managed to make the sad story just a smidge of a tone more memorable.
Of course, there’s still the fact that life will always be that painting that you spend your time deciphering. Somehow everyone seems to be looking at it from different places and they all see different things. And to you, it may not make any sense. But that’s okay too. This painting was meant to be abstract from the start, meant to be everything and nothing of what you seek in it. It is more important, that you appreciate it, no matter what or what it may not mean.
Because we are artists. And we change it, every day. We color it in displays more vibrant than our spectrum, wash away the mistakes with our own salty tears, add depth to this world with every name carved on old trees, and stories told of stars and homes that we are not really sure exist.
About the author: Avid chai and poetry enthusiast.