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  • Writer's picturedonnafrasca

Clairvoyance and The Cutting Board: It All Started With Art

Let me take you way back in time when my Clairvoyance was in its activation stage. It’s story time!

I lived in a cute ranch-style house on Long Island with three bedrooms and one and a half baths. When I wasn’t on the road visiting my grandparents, I’d continue the art lessons at home, crayon box after crayon box.

At this point, my passion for art consumed me. All I knew was I wanted to draw. Like an itch that couldn’t be scratched, the need to draw was always on my mind.

What was it about these crayons that I loved so much? Was it all the colors packed into one box like a rainbow? Was it the awesome smell of wax? I kid you not when I tell you that I have a box of one hundred and twenty crayons––yes, it’s the big one––to the right of my computer as I write this. I even picked the box up, opened it, and took a whiff for old- time’s sake. It was heaven.

When my coloring books were full, and I didn’t have an outlet to draw, I would do something that was a terrible idea, but as a ten-year-old kid, I didn’t know any better. I’d take my crayons and start drawing on the walls in my room. I’m not talking about just a little stick figure or two but full-blown works of art that I just had to express. I guess I don’t need to tell you that this did not go over well with my parents.

“All I wanted to do was draw!”

The neutral-colored walls in my room were calling me in like a duck to water. They reminded me of the pages in my coloring book but without the black lines that needed to be filled in. It was a force that took over my body. I looked at the walls and looked at my crayons, and then it happened. It was like someone took over my mind, a spirit artist from centuries gone by, perhaps? With a beautiful waxy crayon in hand, I walked up to my vertical coloring book and drew until my crayon was just a nub. It felt so good to draw, like the freedom of running outside in a wide-open field as the wildflowers wrapped around my legs. I was as happy as could be with no worries in the world until Mom found out.

“What are you doing, Donna?” Mom’s eyes nearly popped out of her head.

My neck turned around so fast I almost did a Linda Blair. With my mouth wide open from being zapped away from my happy place, I looked into her eyes and was truly scared.

“I’m coloring, Mom. My books are full, and I have nowhere else to color.” On some level, I was proud of myself for being so innovative as to find this new outlet for coloring, but I guess I didn’t truly understand the consequences; again, I was just ten.

I got yelled at, big deal. That was warning one, but as time went on, I continued coloring on my walls. Like an addiction to crack, I could not stop coloring no matter how much I got yelled at; after all, what’s the worst that can happen?

As time went on, I continued to get reprimanded by my mom, and this was becoming an issue in the house. No walls were safe. If I could reach it, I would draw on it, and there was nothing that anyone could do to stop me.

“Was it me just being a kid, or was something deeper going on here?”

After a few spanks on my hiney, hand slappings, and threatening words of discouragement, I had to rethink this wall drawing obsession. I had to outsmart my mom. Now, where could I go and continue to color, be by myself, and not have my mom find my drawings? Did this place exist? Did I have to go to a friend’s house and color there? Did I have to stop coloring? As my creative mind listened to my thoughts, I began coming up with a plan. Little by little, I saw an option that, at the time, seemed like a good idea. Where was this magical place for me to color? In my closet.

As I opened my closet door, there was a swoosh of excitement. Like a scene from a J.K. Rowling movie, this artistic portal, AKA my closet, was waiting for me. I reached in and grabbed a handful of clothes pulled them all to the right and uncovered my future canvas. The cool thing about this was that I was able to color to my heart’s content and then swoosh back my clothes to cover up my works of art. My art would be safe and hidden from the world. What a perfect plan!

My mini-masterpieces remained protected by a closed door and clothes stacked like sardines in a can. Hidden from the unsuspecting eye for what I felt was a long time, my secret was safe, but I soon realized I was wrong. I didn’t consider that my closet was only so big, and in time, I’d run out of drawing space. What did I do? Realizing that there were several closets in my house, I knew that each was a potential gallery to showcase my art. My secret drawing space worked well until I opened my grandmother’s closet. This was not the grandmother we visited every Sunday but our other grandmother who lived with us.

She had one closet all to herself in our house. It was a small magic room where she kept her shiny things, and it felt like a secret place in another realm. I’d try to sneak a peek in there when no one was looking to see what kind of magical items I could find. Why was this closet so fascinating? Most closets that our grandmothers have typically smelled like mothballs and would have lame, flowery house dresses barely hanging correctly on the hangers. This closet was different.

Grandma wore beautiful dresses every day. No lame house dresses for her. She kept her dresses in the plastic dry cleaner bags until she was ready to wear them. I think she just kept her dresses in those bags, whether they were fresh from the dry cleaner or not. The top shelf of her closet had some interesting round boxes where she stored all her hats. She didn’t wear hats much, but she’d have one for every day of the week if she did. You could see more shiny things like stars twinkling in the black of night located on the floor. They were black patent leather shoes, all lined up in a row. I was always in awe when I saw those shiny shoes, and I’m pretty sure it’s why I find patent leather so awesome today.

“Magic, magic, magic. This memory stuck.”

Putting the magical closet aside, I guess she dug deep into her closet one day, only to reveal that along with her Sunday’s best were my drawings. That day, she ratted me out, and my world came tumbling down. The next ten minutes, although minuscule in comparison to a lifetime, would forever be embedded into my mind. I remember my mom looking into Grandma’s closet in disbelief. I don’t know what went through her mind, but the expression on her face frightened me. I’d never seen that look before.

Mom grabbed me by my wrist and quickly walked me into the kitchen. I was confused as to why we were going to the kitchen. Was it time to eat? Was she going to put me in the backyard to play? I don’t know! She released the death grip on my wrist and left me standing in the middle of the kitchen. I saw her walking over to the oven, where she kept her collection of cookie sheets and cutting boards. “Are we making cookies?” I asked.

“I wish at this moment in time I saw the lesson I needed to learn. This experience was and still is hard to erase from my mind, but I know it was a lesson. Do I continue my journey with color, or does it get ‘cut off’ here and now?”

At that point, I see her take out a cutting board and place it on the kitchen counter. As I felt my brow line crinkle with confusion, I saw her walking over to the butcher block and taking out the biggest knife in the collection. There again was the death grip on my wrist as I unknowingly got pulled over to the cutting board. I started screaming and crying as I sensed something awful was about to happen.

She placed my small hand on the cutting board. With her other hand, she reached for the monster knife and held it just inches away from my fingers!

“Are you going to draw on my walls again?” she screamed with an energy that came from her core.

“No!” I screamed!

She repeated, “Are you going to draw on my walls again? Do I need to cut your fingers off to stop you?”

Crying uncontrollably, I felt the firm grip on my wrist was released, and I fell to the floor. I can’t believe my mom, my always-loving mom, was about to cut my fingers off! What did I do to take my mom to that breaking point? Was a ten-year-old kid drawing on the walls that bad to justify this heinous attempt at my disfigurement?

Before you judge my mom, let me fast forward to the future a bit. I, too, am a mom of two kids, eighteen months apart. I know the struggles and hardships that motherhood can bring. Do I justify what she did? Hell no, but I know that feeling of desperation and temporary insanity that raising kids can bring on. Would I ever do that to my kids? As often as I reached my breaking point and hideous thoughts entered my head at times, I’d never act on them. I did give them a spanking when the spank was needed. My “knife” was my words. Some of my words were harsh when my buttons were pushed, and in comparison to a physical attack, they were just as sharp.

My closet paintings came to an abrupt end, and I outgrew my crayons. It just wasn’t worth it. To this day, I’m sure my mom never remembered this culinary incident, but she does remember me writing all over God’s creation. As my teen years progressed, I still loved crayons and always had a strong urge to draw, but I remembered how much trouble I got in for coloring on the walls, which left a bad memory for me. Was this the end of my mural-making? No. A few months passed, and the color demon reared its ugly head again.

I'll be sharing snip-it's from the book I wrote, From Color To The Cosmos: Inside The Mind Of A Medium, available in my shop if you'd like a signed copy or in Amazon.


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