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  • Bonnie Lee

Playing Chess with Colors


Chalks sit on the side line, waiting to enter the mural, as I make some random decisions: It's like solving a big puzzle, or playing chess with colors. If I put fuchsia here, can I place yellow next to it? Midway through, I got stuck with the tree. What color? Off white? Luckily, Saba who came to the rescue. She was on her hands and knees, filling in colors where I did a poor job and giving me suggestions when I was stuck. She put whimsical smiles on the people's faces inside the mural and subsequently on me as well.

I am grateful to my neighbors who lent me almost everything. My neighbor on the right gave me tape to cover the drawing with trash bags at night. He was depicting a sea turtle from a calendar. Blending colors very carefully, he took pride in his work. My neighbors on the left, Michelle and Sarah, portrayed a chalk mural of her aunt who passed away from cancer. Every year, they do a mural about her for over a decade! They were so kind and thoughtful, lending me sponges, scissors, offering cookies for me to eat, and inspiring me to continue to do what I love through their actions.

Although real life sets in and there is the pressure to look for a job, it's not hard to be creative when school lets out. The Pasadena Chalk Festival is free to participants in subsequent years. Every year, they provide 3 boxes of chalk pastels, canvas for your to paint, and a community of people to love and admire no matter what you do on the sidewalk.


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