Xylophones and Butterflies

This post is part of my new series “Portraits”

Xylophones and butterflies. That was kind of her mantra, her saying, her memento. If she did a Yoga class, just came into mountain pose or whatever and the instructor in a soft voice said ‘Now repeat your mantra, your wishes or your goals for the day’, than that was what she thought: Xylophones and butterflies. She had no idea how she came up with that, for sure when she was a kid. She used to be so creative when she was a kid.
Nowadays she wouldn’t describe herself as creative, even other people did. She doesn’t saw herself as creative anymore, she felt there was always a lack of inspiration and creativity in what she did, no matter what. Other people seemed not to notice it – or ignore it on purpose – but it was there, she knew it. Compliments about her works made her uncomfortable – why didn’t they see that something in her art was missing? Not just right? Comparison to great-old artists made her desperate, she felt like a fraud pretending to create an own style while she clearly was just copying, like a child who was pretending to know what to do.

but she tried again. Again and again, hoping that one day, she would make it just right, hoping she would find the missing piece, inspiration or her creativity again. But till then she just had to go on, pretending.

Xylophones and butterflies, her mantra, her saying, her memento. Maybe now she would make it right. At least she should try. What else she was supposed to do?

Alice de Winter

|Painting by Meghan Howland|


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