The Hidden Truth

An art lesson

I stared at the door, too tired, too numb to find the energy to say anything. I wasn’t sure if I wanted company or not. I wasn’t sure how I felt. My mind felt blank, empty, unable to form thoughts or feelings. I wasn’t sure of anything.

“Karen, it’s me, Lyn. Can I come in?”

Lyn. That name stirred something inside of me. Her name. She was a friend, a good friend. She liked me and seemed to care for me. She was not part of my past. I got up and walked, seemingly forever, to the door. The door slide open.

“Hey, how are you?”

I stood still, unsure of what to say. If I told her the truth she would want to know the whole story. I wasn’t sure if I wanted her to know the whole story. She was a good friend, but I was not ready to confide her in my woeful tale. If I was not going to tell the truth, I would have to think up a very convincing lie.

“Are you ok? You look pale and troubled”

I shook my head and forced myself to think of something happy, to drive out the bad mood I was in. I smiled a bit too much, at her, forcing myself to seem cheerful. I told her it was of no importance, that it had been a rough day, and asked her how she was and why she was here.

“I’m ok. I was in my room, lying around, remembering your room. I remembered the pictures on your wall and was wondering if you had drawn them”

I smiled at her and told her yes. The pictures were of animals and landscapes, all in very fine detail. Some drawings took me minutes to quickly sketch; others took nearly an hour to get right.

“Can you teach me to draw like that?”

I asked her if she had any art classes or knew anything about drawing. She shook her head.

“No. Jedi don’t teach that sort of thing and I never really wanted to try, until now”

I grabbed some paper, some pencils and had us sit on the floor. The first thing I taught her was how to loosen her hand up. Most new artists are nervous and grip their pencil too tightly. They want to get the line and the shape perfectly the first time. I made her draw several quick circles, none of them looking very much like circles, but she did relax. I showed her how to sketch a circle, using little curving lines and to finally decide on which line to use to make the perfect circle.

“Wow, that’s so cool. Who taught you that?”

I told her no one. I went off and on in art classes, getting bored with the teacher and what we were made to draw. I would take a year or two off, practicing and exploring what I had learn before I was ready for another class. I did a lot of self teaching, using drawing books for suggestions on subject matter. I actually did best when teaching myself.

“How do you make the drawings so realistic?”

I explained to her what shading was. I had her draw another circle and the pick the right or left side of the circle. She picked the right. Then, I had her draw a very small circle to the upper right of the first circle and label it “sun”. I told her how light works. The further and dimmer the light, the less of a shadow the circle will have. Since her sun was pretty close, the light was strong and strong light makes strong shadows. The shadow will always follow the direction the light is shining. I switched topics to how to shade, showing the different shades one could make with a pencil. I showed her different shading techniques like cross hatching and stippling.

“There is so much to drawing! I didn’t have any idea it was so complex”

That brought a smile on and I told her this would all come to be second nature with a lot of practice. I showed her how to use these different shading tricks on the circle. I illustrated the two different parts to shading anything. An artist has to beware of the shadowing within the object and the shadow the object makes. I showed her through shadowing; one can define the texture of the object. The shadow of the object should closely, but not always, match the shape of the object. The shadow sometimes, depending on where the light is coming from and the strength of the light, will be tilted. I stopped there, worried I had taught her too much.

“Thank you so much! You are such a good teacher. You should ask Master Skywalker to teach an art class”

I blushed a bit and laughed. I told her no. Being a Jedi was about learning to use the Force, lightsabers, and how to protect the innocent. Art had no place here.

“But you’re wrong! Art has a place here. Art would teach us to be more creative. You have an eye for the details of life and the big picture. I think the Jedi need more people like that”

I blushed harder at though words, unable to get myself to deny them. I said nothing to remain modest.

“Well it’s late and I better get some sleep for tomorrow. Thanks for the art lesson. I’ll practice what you showed me”

With that, she left. I stood still, letting her words run through my mind. A certain proud happiness filled me. It was nice that someone though I belong here. My train of thought was stopped with the knock at the door. It was probably Lyn, who must have forgotten something. I looked around as I walked to the door. I saw nothing of hers. I access the door and saw my master standing there. I looked at him, full of surprise.

“May I come in?”

His voice was very respect, low, if not meek. His body was slightly hunched, as if he felt he did something wrong. He took a seat on my mattress and looked up at me.

“I wanted to check up on you. I’m sorry for the pain I caused you early. I had no idea what you had gone through”

I told it was ok. I started every single fight. I never had control over myself. It was my fault for the punishment I got.

“Karen, no. No father should ever hit their child for any reason. He overacted badly. He lost far more control than you. I do not blame you and would never do so. Do no put blame on yourself when you do not deserve it. No father should have their daughter fear them the way you did”

I hung my head. I had some another thing wrong. There seemed to be no end to my wrong doings. It seemed I would never get through this.

“I promise you Karen, I will help you through this. I will get you through this pain”

I nodded slightly, swallowing threatening tears. The silence went on for minutes. He was embarrassed by my pain. I was trying to pull myself together for the both of us. He moved from the mattress to the floor and picked up art.

“This is not your usual art. Looks like you were teaching someone how to draw circles. I gather it was Lyn”

Yes it was. I told him Lyn had come and wanted to learn how to draw.

“Hmm. You are a good teacher. Perhaps I should take an art class with you as my teacher”

He looked over at me, smiling. I stared at him. He was the second person in less then twenty minutes who wanted to learn to draw.

“But not now. I suggest you get some sleep. I’ll see you tomorrow in class”