So yesterday I did indeed get out my paints. And discovered that they are still good though I haven’t used them in ten years. Got to love acrylics. And discovered also that I had no canvases. So I went to Michael’s and dropped over three hundred dollars on canvases and supplies. Then I came home and organized a bit which always leads to looking into boxes and finding things I hadn’t thought of hadn’t remembered in ages. I keep everything. And I’m very glad I do. Each box is filled with little surprises. And joys. Like the old keychain with Alex’s school photo with the lizard on it all orange hues.
This all led to looking into my old sketches. Which are mostly from nineteen-ninety-one to nineteen-ninety-three. I have painted since then, I’ve done charcoals, but no dedicated sketching. I’d forgotten that I’d ever done these things. Except one. The rest were a rediscovering. The picturing painting sketching brain gave over to the wordy louder one. Which is fine of course but I have been thinking a long long ever so long a time about getting back into that brain mind its softer voice it does not shout it does not slam into me with such desperation as the writing. It doesn’t have a voice at all really.
I am the most un-visual person. I do not write a lot of description into my stories. I cannot conjure a face, even of someone I love dearly. Sometimes a face will float up to me but I cannot close my eyes and see you. Or my boys. Or Dale. It's as though Dale is always moving in front of me. Because he is. None of us live still lives.
When I was growing up, I was always drawing girls. My girls. Their eyes and lips. Finally their noses. My mother painted and drew. My brother crocheted. And made swords and these nail figures with string strung between to create a picture. We decoupaged. My father built things with wood, metal. Turned the lathe to create the newel post on the new stairs. And the banister. We all sang. My brother and I played the piano. My father played guitar. Later in her life my mother wrote. And built things with wood. And she made quilts, just whipped them up so fast. And collected arrowheads and shark’s teeth and stones which she tumbled smooth. In the rock building outside the old house. I loved the sound of the tumbler turning.
I do think I can conjure a smell. They say that you cannot do this, in that you cannot actually smell it. But I can bring up the smell of my mother’s sweet rolls. It’s misty but it’s there.
So today I will work around the house and I will paint a thing. And sketch. In spite of all my study of art history, I only know really understand what a “study” is. I will study what to do before I paint the thing. And then I will dedicate myself to working on the thing and not expect it to be done as quickly as a story. Or essay. Or poem.
I certainly will not sit her and piddle about on the computer on Face Book and Twitter. And check emails constantly. These are foolish pursuits.
So onto the day. Of doing.
“I’ll shower with you, but I’m leaving
my underwear on,” and you enjoyed her
in every way you could enjoy a person with soap.