We went to the Provo temple open house and there were beautiful murals on the walls in the rooms. And it reminded me of this story.
When I was at BYU I worked at the Mechanical shop. Lest you’re like me and think the mechanical shop means I worked on cars, let me correct you. The mechanical shop was the term for the HVAC department. I fixed, installed, and worked on the heating and cooling units in the buildings on campus.
Because of that I was in the most random parts of the most random buildings. Nothing was off limits – from the most gaurded chemistry labs to the highest administrators offices – I saw it all.
One building I went to was this random ware house. We had to fix some duct work in the ceiling. I don’t even remember where this building was – it wasn’t part of the main campus. And it was a top secret building – you had to have permission – like high level permission – and a temple recommend – to even enter it.
After we were done with our work, my boss (not a student, but a career-level middle-older gentleman whose name I can’t even remember now), told me he’d show me what was going on in the building below the rafters.
So we went downstairs to the floor of the warehouse – where panel after panel was set up. The most esteemed BYU professors/artists were working on the murals for the Nauvoo temple that was being built at the time.
My boss introduced me as “artsy” and one of the artist’s stopped and took me on a tour, showing me the beautiful paintings that would soon paper the walls of the historically significant Nauvoo temple.
“You know, if you want, you could come and help us with these paintings. You can work on them with us” the artist invited.
Um, I don’t have a car, and I’m really busy,
and um . . . I don’t think it would really work.
And so I never returned to that secret warehouse. I never saw those murals again until they were installed and Wyatt drove across the country to attend the dedication of that temple.
I told Wyatt that story last week after the Provo open house.
“What?!” he almost yelled at me. He was absolutely incredulous that I passed up the opportunity to have my brush strokes on a painting in the Nauvoo temple. “You may not have done much, but you could have at least painted a leaf. And then you could say – see that leaf? That leaf, right there. I painted that!”
Instead, all I have is this LAME tale-for-tuesday to share with you.
I was telling this story to my real-artist-friend, Brittany Scott and she told me she had the exact same experience – she was invited as a student by one of the professors to work on the murals for the Sacramento temple. But she felt so intimidated and overwhelmed by the prospect that she too, passed it up. And now she feels that regret as well. See, I’m not the only one. And if she, who actually took art classes, and grew up to be this amazing artist, felt overwhelmed by it, then maybe I’m not so far off center after all. 😉