Today is the 10th month of more than daily posting on the blog. A tick mark on towards other goals. I had hoped to list a bunch of links from readers who responded to last month's "quiz" (about which blogs they read) but preparation for an art show (yesterday's opening was very well attended and great fun as well) and other matters intruded. It just hasn't been possible to pull that material together yet. It will come shortly.
This made me think about how we often have to let things go—our best laid plans, our schemes. We have to be a bit flexible. I'm all for pushing when even when things seem hopeless, but I'm also flexible enough to see when it's kinder to take an alternate path. I think we have to look for those alternate paths as they present themselves. I could rush and finish the "links" post, but then other things might not get done that need attention, serious attention. And so it goes. But there is also the siren call of still posting daily…
Today is about living with those contradictions and forces pulling in opposite directions. And this reminded me of Thursday night. All all I wanted to do was a dip pen sketch before I went to bed. Opening the jar was a struggle, even with the wedge-shaped jar pinching and opening device I have. When I did get it open I promptly spilt acrylic ink all over my hand, the bottle, and part of the floor. I cleaned it up quickly and moved into the kitchen for more paper towels. I wasn't paying attention to the jar when I pulled the towels off the roll. The holder chose that moment to collapse and my ink-jar-holding hand tilted and suddenly there was a new mess of ink on a new floor to clean up. And since I had also spilt ink on my bare foot, when I walked to the pantry for more towels I made interesting footprints, all in acrylic ink. My brain and my reflexes were just 3 seconds out of sync.
Thank goodness for tile floors! And breathing!
I did manage to get everything cleaned up; and determined to make that sketch, I made my way back into the studio. As I decanted a small amount of ink into a plastic cap (the purpose of this holder, a thimble-sized waterbottle spout cover is to have only as much ink as I need out so that if it spills disasters are avoided—Ha, ha) I of course spilt ink all over my tool tray table.
Several paper towels later I did get to sketch and the above sketch is the third one for the evening. My hands were blackened with ink, but miraculously clean enough that none transferred to the cover of my journal—the only item in the room left ink-free.
Friday I had the opportunity to spend several delightful hours with 3-1/2-year-old Eric. He arrived before I had my socks and shoes on and I decided to explain the previous night's events behind my scrubbed but still blackened toes. In my best "then this happened, and then this happened," excited tone I explained the various mishaps. He smiled, he nodded, but at each natural pause in the narrative his clear and curious voice asked, "Why?" It wasn't a formulaic question, common to toddlers. Eric's tone and pause, his thoughtful look, all demonstrated he really wanted to understand the why of the events.
We all wonder about the why of things, big and little. All I knew was I had to move forward, and that even covered with ink, it was important to do so. So I could draw. Sometimes it's necessary to let go of things, but it's also always good to push ahead and get your sketching done.
Children understand this—but they also need to hear an adult say this.