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  • Monique Sliedrecht

Out of the Lines


Yesterday, on my way to the post office and as I stepped up to the crosswalk of a busy street, I noticed a blind man come up beside me. Both of us waited for the red man to turn green whilst cars and trucks whizzed past. I was struck by the quiet confidence of the person beside me and tried to imagine myself in his shoes - how heavily reliant on sound and feeling he would be in order to cross. When the red switched to green, accompanied by a beeping alert, he set out with his stick stretched out in front of him, stepped off of the curb into the road and on to the other side. We both went our separate ways, but I remember thinking, ‘What courage!’.


I thought about the studio sessions I’ve had with a friend this last week where I’ve been challenged to paint ‘out of the lines’; to step out of the boat, so to speak, taking what is familiar, and altering it slightly, adding new layers and colours, wiping away, painting over, going beyond the boundary of canvas…. I recognised the slight fear and hesitation in myself at times, but also the excitement that comes with exploring new frontiers, whatever shape or form they might take, and not knowing the outcome. Such exploration, and even daring perhaps, creates new lines, new ‘boundaries’, growth, and e x p a n s i o n.


Courage takes on different forms for different people. What may be the embarking of a new and sometimes scary enterprise for some, may be 'old hat' for others. I guess the point is to step out of the lines in one’s own life and to dare to do so regardless of what the result might be (assuming it isn’t life threatening!).


To step out is to live.


The alternative?

Not living. Not really.

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