Just a bubble | Inquirer Opinion
Young Blood

Just a bubble

/ 05:05 AM December 11, 2023

Suppression: the presence of such a thing, especially in art, has long been a source of untruthful expression, an authentic lie.

During an art class, my instructor, “Ma’am Annie,” played Claude Debussy’s “Claire de Lune” and asked us to use a representation or the influence of expressionism to create an artwork that conveyed the emotions and feelings of the music in a matter of minutes. It was an excellent assignment, and I admired Ma’am Annie’s creative approach to teaching. I immediately envisioned the illustration I would create, complete with the colors, tones, and symbolism that would evoke the desired feelings in me and behind the enigmatic simplicity that I aspired to produce.

I had my paper, my pencil for the layout, the colors, and most especially, my mind; I scribbled and expressed with every stroke; I drew crowded bubbles in the intense pigments of ocean blue and green as the symbolism for my bitter sadness. I’ve felt that with that composition, but no matter how bitter of a sadness it was, it still came in a gentle form, which I perceived as bubbles, those caressing melodies. It sounded like a dismal lullaby, but it gradually got touched by specks of hope from the moonlight, so I drew and painted intricate forms of a golden raindrop, showering down the bubbles stranded around the darkness.

I was expressive, I thought, until suddenly, Ma’am Annie appeared in front of me out of thin air; I was not hesitant to answer her questions. While explaining myself with my artwork, I had a slight sense of pride with a constructive explanation. Until it was destroyed by her overgeneralized comment, “No, that isn’t what a bubble symbolizes.”


That ended my admiration for her; she became intolerable to me whenever I heard her unnecessary comments, and I am still puzzled from this day on. Was there a set of standards regarding the symbolism of your feelings? An unspoken rule of art that I have not heard of? Or was she simply being a prick?

We nearly entered a respectful debate for a minute when I heard her say that; I began explaining further, more like defending my helpless art, and she did so, too, justifying her commonsensical mind that a bubble can only represent moments of joy, youth, and so on.

I gave up and gave in to her judgment to make the blabbering and the endless questioning stop. We all passed our work. I was accepting until tomorrow came; the results of our work came, handed out to us, and I got 6/10. I was all right at first until I saw the scores of others; they openly said and joked around about how they found it unbelievable to receive such good scores, considering the fact they had no motives or symbolism behind it. I was devastated at how they scored higher than me; how could a drawing of a two-dimensional house surrounded by grass score 7 when the person openly admitted that he only made that for the sake of doing so and not because it’s a form of symbolism regarding “Clair de Lune”?

I wanted to get up from my chair, slam my paper on her desk, and demand a proper explanation for such impulsiveness of a decision; all I got to do was sit in silence while concealing my anger with a humbled expression. Well, at least my friends shared similar sentiments (in a deep repression of anger).


It hit me hard; I kept wondering whether she was right after all and that expressing also has its standards that I failed to acquire and follow. On the other hand, my mind was full of liberation; how could someone tell me how to visualize what I felt in such ways? How could someone say that the bubble is for joy, never for sorrow? It’s like saying the sun is only for the time of merry and leaving out the misery of the undermined.

But I made up my mind; I decided to stay my ground and embrace the essence of art that I have always known, an expression in all forms. Why would I sacrifice my integrity for the sake of her mind? But at a certain point, I still couldn’t help but doubt myself; what if I’m making some trifling explanations to validate my work and to seek worth within it? An artist who seeks validation is a fool and maybe not an artist at all. Am I a fool? Maybe.


Believe my melancholy, the bubble fades into a mist and never regains its form.


And it’s gone.


Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Ella Cordelia, 15, is a high school student who writes about her restless mind.

TAGS: personal essay, Young Blood

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.