Why Chalk?

White HeronThe original plan was to have a highly visible space in the kitchen to write things down: Call mom back. Get more Urfa pepper. The name of the new neighbor across the street; boring household stuff like that.

But every time the blackboard got erased, an intuitive whisper would wonder, "What else could go there"?

Full disclosure, I have long been planning a return to oil painting. And with pigments and canvases being an expensive way to get started, I wanted something with a little more texture than a sketch pad for my regular practice. Chalk was perfect.

Chalk is old and basic and as approachable as a kitchen table conversation. One of the oldest of all art media, chalk dates back to the stone age and was even used by Renaissance masters including fellow lefty Leonardo Da Vinci.

And then there is the blackboard, the original blank canvas of all creation. When we pray, when we meditate, when we dream we close our eyes and return to that mysterious, sacred darkness that unites all--the soil for the seed of imagination. Yet, no matter the bloom or the harvest, everything on the blackboard can be erased; a humbling reminder that nothing is permanent.

Eventually, I will get back to oil painting. But I doubt I will ever put down the chalk; because, every time I see an empty blackboard I wonder what else could go there.