Saranya Sampath, a junior at the Academy, won first prize in the Regional Center for Women in the Arts’ writing competition. The theme for this year is…
“Girls On Art” – How does art affect the lives of women and girls? Art is all inclusive – painting, sculpture, dance, performance, writing, music, and film. You may include your dreams for the future, what kind of art you are currently involved in, problems you encounter, or special joys you find in creative activities. The form of your entry may be narrative, essay, or poetry.
Congratulations, Saranya! Enjoy her winning submission below.
I am she.
How does she do that? I am three years old. I see her, moving as gracefully as a samurai, each stroke of her brush akin to a strike of a sword. It’s a fanciful thought, encapturing the mesmerizing effect of the placid girl around her chaotic surroundings.
I am caught in the tide of the chaos.
I want to do that. I am seven now, old enough to decide what I want, but not old enough for my words to hold any weight in this ocean of memories. There she is, an entire orchestra dancing from her vocal chords, the symphony seeping through my ears like honey. I want a closer look, I want to never forget this feeling of bliss. I reached out with my hand, trying to breach the crowd, trying to find her.
I get swept away with the crowd.
I’m going to do that. I am twelve years old, and I see the world in black and white. It’s dull, it’s all rather unmoving in a macabre, mechanized manner. Am I a product of industry, or is industry a product of me? Or are we the daughters of a whole other entity, of creativity, of art? Then she brings color to the world. With every beat, with every sway of her body, another drop of color seeps into the pages of the book that we call life, the lines blurring, the binding threatening to burst at the seams. It’s wild, it’s lively, it’s unearthly yet bound to this world all the same. She dances with no restraint, with no worry, and I laugh with her. Our laughs fill the air like bells chiming. It’s a pleasant sound.
Until my laughs turn bitter.
You can’t be that. I am fifteen years old, and the doubt sets in like a cold black tide, threatening to pull me into the abyss without a safety rope to cling onto. Where is she now? The girl who wields the brush as if it were her sword, the girl who could produce thousands of instruments from a single voice, the girl who moved her body as naturally as if she were the wind itself? The water is waist deep, as is my uncertainty for the future. I am not the only one in the water. There are other girls, just like her.
Where is that girl?
You can be that. I feel the warmth of the sun on my face, warming up my spirit with a pleasant mug of fresh confidence. I’m no longer in the watery sepulchre, I’ve escaped, she has pulled me out. The doubt is still there, the uncertainty pulsing like a newborn baby, but there is something that overrides these emotions: ambition. Ambition to create the new and the beautiful, the drive to grab my dreams by the palm and take a leisurely stroll, hand in hand. Aspiring to reflect this part of myself through wordless communication, through art.
Who is that girl?
She is who I wanted to be, a fluid being representing my transient dreams. She dabbles in all the art forms, exploring with her heart and soul in such a way that I could only hope to achieve one day. She is the ethereal, out-of-this-world manifestation of art. She is art herself.
I am ageless. I am timeless.
And I am she.