Svale used to say, “Consider yourself a newbie while learning, and life will reward you opulently with lessons that are worth cherishing”.
Despite being a recipient of the Magsaysay award for his exemplary contribution in the field of art, he ardently continued to learn new things till his last. Hence, even after two years of his demise, he’s considered an eidolon by many.
What he meant was to have an insatiable appetite to learn fresh, new things. Regardless of the apprehensions associated with all things new.
Today as I stand as a newbie to a life freckled with death, melancholy post four decades of marriage, all I’ve with me is an undying zeal to make a start from the scratch. Albeit my fingers yearn to be lovingly entwined, unvoiced feelings threaten to blurt out yet with the undaunted stamina of a newbie, I march on.
Though it’s been two years, Svale is still overpowering me to learn new things. ‘Twas as if I had an ingrained internal compass that’d always point at him. I’d always felt, when you find someone who truly sees you, believes in you, sometimes more than you believe in yourself, and tells you so. Well, then you hold on to them and don’t let go, even if they’re not perfect or even if you lose yourself just a little.
I couldn’t stop myself from letting him go, but in the process, I started to lose myself bit by bit.
“Does time heal wounds? Naah… I think it’s we who are incessantly changing, evolving, and learning like a newbie.”
He forever wanted me to take interest in painting, like the way he did. Meticulous, immaculate, fervidly passionate, and eager to learn.
Today, I held his paintbrushes that’s so reminiscent of him. With the sunlight streaming through the mullioned window of his art room I tried to implement the basics of paintings learned from him. With his lingering smell and warmth all over the place., a silent luminescence overpowered me pushing me to go that extra mile. The silence in the room seemed to stretch for an eternity.
The indelible memories ripple as I wade through his canvas. My fingers trail the surface of yore, and I manage to draw the outline of his favorite sunflower. So, Svale’s advice of always being a newbie was taken care of.
Despite trying umpteen times, I couldn’t color the sunflower.
I realized I didn’t want to finish that piece of work. I wanted to leave the flower bland, glaringly obvious to show that I ain’t complete without him, and never will be.
I’ve successfully outlined my new way to be with him. I smile clutching the ‘bland sunflower’ to my bosom, opening my eyes to watch the world outside blur into obscurity.
A deep-rooted longing to start afresh was just fulfilled. Svale, you hear me?
“I’m with you now, just ‘Svale’ * in your celestial world of newness!”
* Svale – Name (Norman origin) meaning “fresh or new”