“What would you like us to do today on your 92nd birthday?” This was my question yesterday to my husband. His immediate response was “Maybe we should paint an onion.”
Given his dementia, I am usually not surprised by unexpected answers, but this one has caused me to ponder.
I shared this dialogue with my social worker friend and she, of course, asked, “How did that work for you?”
Again, I pondered. Is the idea of painting an onion just a reason to laugh at a nonsense idea or it is worth considering?
The phrase could be captured and used in the instances when life hands you something to which there is nothing to say or nothing to do. For example, if someone tells you the stock market just crashed you could say, “Maybe we should paint an onion.”
But what if we were to literally try it? I don’t know what medium you could possibly use, but there’s something appealing about messing up an art project and then simply removing that layer and finding a new layer inviting you to begin again. An onion could be a canvas that is very forgiving.
Reflecting on the decades of my life, I recognize God’s grace repeatedly pealing away that which has either simply served its purpose or proven to be a creative mess.
Isaiah gives us this insight into the ways of God. “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
Maybe painting an onion is faith that the God who has been there pealing and providing in the past is my Art Teacher with tenure.
That’s it for now… I’ve got an onion that needs paint!!!