Sepia The Color Of Healing

–The Dirt Road Chronicles

January 1972 – Charleston

The Gallery was cold and the heater could not keep up with the biting wind just outside the door. The rain beat hard against the window of the studio.  The old building seemed to tremble as if afraid of the storm.  It was well past midnight, and I finally finished the canvas for Jessie Earle and signed my name in the bottom corner.

I was exhausted and I went to the back storage room and laid down on the cot, falling asleep as soon as I closed my eyes.  My dreams were filled with a collage of images, the story of Jessie Earle’s life.  He was a famous poet living a life of fame, friends, love, and tragedy.  He too was now a story, painted on a massive canvas, the soft Sepia colors calming, healing, and captivating.

The sunrise was filled with bright bold colors as if an artist’s brush had touched the clouds.  I could sense that Jessie had been there late in the night knowing that this would be the only moment he would have to see his own story and embrace the fact that he would again become famous.  I could smell his Sandalwood cologne as I had many times, and, as always, I had not seen him, yet I knew he had been there taking in the finished canvas.  Like a book of poems, he knew he would not be forgotten, a love filled with passion that never diminishes, he knew he would not fade away.

I turned on the spotlights and even though I painted the canvas I was in awe of its presence and its power.  It seemed to have a life of its own, the stories rotating around the canvas just as Jessie lived them.  I knew I was finished here, the story told, yet I knew by painting this canvas I too told my own story.  It was a story of my journey that started over a year ago when I went back to Tuscumbia, Alabama and while I am finished here, I knew I had one last place to go, my home in Myrtle Beach.

Jessie Earle had as always left me an envelope with a check for doing the painting and a list of poets to read on my new journey.  He reminded me that I still had a manuscript to complete, and he hoped that he would one day read my book.

The next chapter- The Shoemaker


Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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