It took a life.
It took pain and elation, sorrow and joyousness.
It took death, it took birth.
(It's about expression, you know.)
It took war and fear and dread and cancer.
I took the loss of a parent in great pain.
It took trust. And regret.
It took eroticism unbound.
It took intoxication of scent, of lilacs, of the softness of rose petals.
And that was just the painting part...
It took sewing that herringbone wool suit in seventh grade.
It took the isolation of being a student in an art-starved high school.
It took many needle pricks.
It took delay, learning to life-flex.
Cradling feverish faces instead of paintbrushes.
It took crystalline stillness on a moonlit January night.
It took the experience of seeing true red, of an autumn that might have been missed.
It took the profound experience of my mother's favorite National Geographic yellow following her passing.
It took Shostakovich. And Bach.
And Miles Davis and Etta James.
It took children squealing in sprinklers and clutching bloody knees.
It took depressing realism.
It took mortification and embarrassment.
It took solitude and silences.
And sometimes, lonesomeness.
It took pursuit without reward. And truth.
It took years of study.
It took a supportive spouse and friends.
It took threads getting caught in the sewing chair casters.
It took packages of broken needles.
It took a cat or two, come and gone.
It took yoga to insure being able to work on the floor.
It took the struggles of all those forebears.
You see, it's not just a blanket.
It's a piece of life.
By Astrid Hilger Bennett