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“If I mention blue,” the artist asked,
“what word or phrase comes to mind.
How about orange? And green?
Now hold these thoughts as you
work with the inks on your paper.
You’ll be amazed at what happens.”

Focusing, a word and color at a time,
I drizzled and swirled, watching
ink flow together as if self-directed.

Each color changed the painting, and soon
green and orange were blending, creating
evergreen and earth-toned mountains while
orange refracted into an arched sunset
against the now azure sky.

Calmness and warmth filled me, and
I settled into a meditative peace as I laid my painting to dry.

A slight miscalculation by my neighbor, however,
and his dropper full of purple ink hit my paper.
I found myself trying to “fix” my painting,
forgetting that I cannot change anyone’s thoughts or colors
but my own.