Just a bit of writing for the new project this morning. Have you been given a Bluebird of Happiness from Arkansas?
“Betsy, you doing okay? Are you doing a picture for us today?” The young aide came next to her, leaning over to look at her work. “That looks like the Blue Bird of Happiness in that tree. Have you ever visited the place here in Arkansas that makes the Blue Bird of Happiness? You can watch them blow the glass to make all different sizes of the bird. They even have pink and red birds made of glass. They’re really special. I like your picture. It’s special, too.”
Betsy looked up and nodded vacantly. Then she reached for the nearest crayon, an ebon black, pulled the paper closer and methodically drew lines with sharp angles and squiggles along the right edge of the paper. The lines looked like an abstract melding of trees sprouting out of nowhere, branches askew. She stopped to analyze the picture, made one more swipe on the left of the page and drew a broad tree trunk leaning at an angle, sprouting withered branches; then she dropped the black crayon next to the paper and reached for a stub of charcoal gray. Her hands flew over the upper part of the page creating a swirl of menacing streaks and smears. Dark clouds appeared along the top of the page and drifted down over the center, almost covering the trees she’d drawn. The smudge of blue bird remained. She stopped to analyze the emerging picture. Dropping the gray stub, Betsy bent closer to the table and paper, eyeing her work. She reached out to sort through the crayons and selected a deep blue crayon marked ultramarine blue. Below the black stick-like lines, her hands flew creating an image of stormy, choppy waves.
She stopped abruptly, held the crayon mid-air above the page, looked at the image, and emitted a sound between a sob and a snarl.