Last night on the subway I saw an old woman holding a modern art book. It was a bit wrinkly, and on the side of it was a stamp that read "Brooklyn Library."
At the old woman's feet was a cloth bag with an art pallet and a few paint brushes sticking out. She was adorable. I imagined she was taking all of this home to one of her grandchildren. A gift for them to learn how to to paint, to discover their dreams. But I was wrong.
The old woman looked up at me and smiled.
"I'm learning to paint," she said. And she smiled wider, as if she had been waiting her whole life to share this moment - like she was discovering her own dreams.
It wasn't a gift. It wasn't for her grandchildren. It wasn't for anyone in the world. It was hers. That's it. And it made me so very happy.