Posted by: Paulette
I arrived with more gifts in hand on day four. This was going to be the last day in New Mexico before I had to drive home. I laid out some colored pencils, graphite pencils, a couple of different kinds of erasers, a large sketch pad and a durable pencil sharpener on the bed.
And then I remembered that Paul couldn't see well enough to draw, because he didn't have any glasses, so I picked up the stuff and started a portrait. I've never been very good with drawing from life, and drawing profiles, but on this day my artistic abilities were up for the challenge. As I began sketching, a couple of Paul's friends showed up. As they played catch up I couldn't help but think how blessed my life has been. One of their female friends died of a heart attack brought on by domestic abuse at 38. Such a tragedy. I'm only 10 years younger than that!
As I mentioned before drawing from life is not my favorite thing to do, and my model kept moving around. Just as I was sketching his ear, he'd place his hand on his head and his arm would obsure his ear.
"Hey. I'm drawing your ear, can you move your arm? I can't see," I complained.
"Well, just add it in there then!" was his reply
There was a lot of teasing going on. At one point, referring to a conversation we'd had 15 years before, he told me that the drawing would look more like him if I'd stood on my head. Sometimes when drawing a portrait, if you turn the subject upside down, it becomes an object and you're less likely to draw an idealized subject.
As I drew, I mentioned that my favorite part of a portrait are the eyes. My father told me that he'd always had difficulty with drawing eyes. I told him that I thought that it was because he doesn't look people in the eye when he's speaking to them. He told me he had a great amount of guilt, and that almost everyone he knows has knowledge of something stupid that he's done.
Guilt is a heavy burden to carry all of your life. I believe that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we are able to repent and that burden is lifted. I told him this.
I finished the portrait, and gave it to Paul. He was surprised that I didn't want to keep it. The whole time I was drawing, he said that it didn't look like him.
I think that my perception of him came through in the picture. I hope that he'll be able to see that.
All too soon it was time for me to leave. My uncle handed me an envelope containing some money, and I thanked Paul for it, and kissed him good bye.
Since my returning home, I've called him twice in a week. He's in a recuperation room today, and is able to sit on the side of the bed. I have hopes that he is getting better. We've spoken about favorite foods, trips to Mexico, and parenting. Every day, I feel as though I am making a new friend. I've invited him and Ellie for a visit, when he gets well enough to travel. I hope that this dream for the future will help him heal, and feel happier. There was no complaining today! Amazing!