I was talking with someone this week about the importance of having hobbies; something to do outside of work, family and friends; something all to yourself. His mother painted every day. This was a lifeline for her, particularly as she got older and her life became more and more contained. Contained? I asked for more explanation. Her friends were dying off one by one, she'd been a widow for a few years, her mobility was limited, and her hearing was deteriorating. Putting a brush to a canvas every day kept her sane, reminded her of life's pleasures, chased loneliness away, and made her forget the limits of her physical self.
I have this image of a woman in my head, outlined against the milky white light coming from a window. She's painting a watercolour. Her hand trembles slightly as she dabs her brush against the paper. Her skin is stretched so thin over her knuckles and bones. The colours on the page bleed and blotch. There's only her, the room, and the dab of a brush against paper. That sound alone fights off the silence.