Each time you dip the brush in water
it is a baptism, a washing clean.
You have to work the brush.
The paint does not simply disappear in the soaking,
You push and swirl and press the bristles
against the side and bottom.
If the color was vivid or strong,
you empty the cup and fill it again
and maybe a third time,
all in the name of washing away
everything, and making the brush new again.
Less a symbol than the church version,
this is real work.
Often you spend more time cleansing
than applying paint,
and it is at least as important
to the picture.
About this poem.
Often, I think, the emptying, the cleansing, is more important to the final product than the actual doing. True in painting. True in religion. True in life.