Buildings like this exist everywhere. Artists are drawn to the worn surfaces and textures –the visual story. We often take a photograph. I did. Right then I thought “I may want to paint this.” But I also pondered the story happening inside. This place isn’t vacant. The comforting smell of dinner is wafting from inside as I walk by, the soft sound of the radio and the hum of a fan heard through the window. A mama cat with kittens relaxes in a box on the back porch. She looks wary. Even within its slowly dilapidating exterior, I suspect it holds the hopes and dreams of someone living with challenges beyond anything i can imagine. Someone inside wakes every day desperate for change, with hope in their heart and dreams on their mind. The outside of this building does not necessarily define those residing inside. I imagine hard-living, but also see beauty and feel hope here. Do you? Do you pass judgement and assume the inhabitants don’t care? Do you walk more quickly and look away? Thankful you don’t live here? I contemplate a story. An elderly woman and her special-needs granddaughter might live here. A young father fighting addiction might be sober for a full week inside. It might be the home of a meth addict or someone with a mental illness. But it IS “home” to someone. I may not ever know. I may not be able to help. But I can send out a bit of light from my heart to theirs as I walk by. A story is speaking to me. Time to paint. #community #topaintistotellastory #heartsandminds #namaste #nojudgement #reality #peacebewithyou #hopesanddreams