The Painter

We needed our house painted, my wife and I—walls, ceilings, all the rooms. At seven decades and counting, joints, eyesight, and medicine cabinet all testified to the insanity of doing the job myself. So, for the first time, I hired a painter—a friend of a friend of a friend. Right about now, connoisseurs of creative writing might be looking for some detail: number and size of rooms; anxieties over color choices; perhaps a catalogue of mishaps, pratfalls or spillage.

But here is what I have: memories of conversations. Brian told me about a fire that took all his possessions; about keeping vigil with a friend who was dying; about experiencing a love that is transforming his life. We talked about the impermanence of things, the sacredness of life, openness to surprise, the importance of living in the “now.” We talked about values, life, love and the wonder of it all.

I listened carefully to Brian and saw the pooling in his eyes as he shared his soul stuff, and I knew with a heart kind of knowing, that my home, and the living presence that abides there, had received more than a fresh coat of paint that day.

© 2014 Dennis Ference

13 thoughts on “The Painter

  1. Oh, I loved this. So true, and I suspect, you also realized that our lives and homes aren’t about buildings really. We live in the stories we keep and share. Great piece.

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