Saying Yes to Life.

When I asked the question, When will I come alive? I didn’t realize the answer would be in a can of paint.


I wondered why I had a pit in my stomach as the painter opened the can and began rolling the paint. I was afraid to look, but trusted my daughter’s thumbs up. I peeked at the wall.

It invited me in, but to what I wasn’t sure. What I was only sure about is I didn’t feel well.

“It’s only a painted wall, mom,” my daughter said.

I went to the newly plum painted bathroom that did not scare the hell out of me and took a shower.

Hours before I was reading Wild Mind, a book about writing by Natalie Goldberg. She talked about alcoholics and artists being similar. How they both swim in darkness, but the artist, unless addicted comes through it feeling more alive. Where the addict stays in the deep—captivated, nearly drowning. I could relate, and although I am not a drinker I feel I have been swimming in darkness for a long time. I wondered, when will I come alive?


The paint, Bee’s Wax as its name, gushes with life, and to my surprise, why I felt sick. This buttery yellow concoction is asking me to come alive with it, and the sickness is my fear and resistance to its request. The paint the house came with is dull, safe and does not add much to the home. But Bee’s Wax says, Life! And, life says, live! 

It’s aliveness makes me confront my dullness, my safe pathway back to hiding and inertia. It offers the conundrum: Do I really want to come alive? As the buttery yellow continues to make its way, covering the dull gray this question will unfold. So far though, after getting clean in the shower, I trust it will be okay. I breathe more deeply into the change, and the invitation a can of paint can bring, making it more than just a painted wall- at least to a soul who is reaching through the darkness into new life.

As I ponder the future living with this color, I know the many moods and emotions will continue to move through the inhabitants of this house, but like a smile, inviting us out of our anger and sadness, this painted room will be inviting us into its aliveness day after day, and it is my hope we say, yes.


The Soul Reporter

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