Thanks to a pack of pork chops that hadn’t quite thawed completely, I found myself without anything to eat for dinner on a recent Tuesday evening. My normal plan would have been to order a pizza but I wasn’t in the mood for Papa and his $7.99 2 topping large. I sent a text to a friend: “My pork chops didn’t thaw out enough. What should I order for dinner?”
Geez! I got the wrong date again!
So there I was this morning eating a lovely bowl of porridge (read that as Oatmeal) patting myself on the back for eating whole grains for breakfast instead of a chick fil a biscuit and using apples and raisins to sweeten those grains instead of sugar, when I glanced at the wall calendar. March 4th. Oh man! The Ides of March was yesterday on the 3rd. I missed it again! Or wait….are the Ides on the 5th? I can never remember what day in March the Ides actually fall on. It doesn’t matter, it really doesn’t.
In fact, my whole reason for wanting to remember the date (for the last two years) was so that I could use it on my Facebook status. Try to refrain from rolling your eyes. Having “Beware the Ides of March” as my status might signify to all who saw it that I am cultured, clever and well read. That you may find on my bookshelf the works of Shakespeare (pronounced here real snooty-like and with a hand flourish: Shake-sp’yah!) and probably not 50 Shades of Gray. That I might enjoy eating sushi and not those God awful looking Fish McBites from McDonald’s. They may think to themselves ” Perhaps I should post this inspiring quote by Mark Twain on her wall instead of the picture of the fuzzy little kitten spewing obscenities and flipping the bird.” (Cat’s have middle fingers? Who knew?).
I have a friend who laughs at my annoyance over the lack of interest when I would post what I feel are discussion worthy topics. I might draw two likes and her one sympathy comment. But that comment over on such and such’s wall about what happened at the bar this past weekend was liked 234 times and got 37 comments in 4 minutes. My laughing friend being one of the likers. Et Tu, Friend? Yes – I am slightly bitter. But I digress….
I did some quick researching and found “The Ides” fall on the 15th of the month. I did some additional G
oogling research and found that outside of Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, the date means nothing at all. The Ides is just a fancy way of saying the 15th. Hearing a Soothsayer calling it “The Ides” certainly wouldn’t have sent any shivers down Caesar’s spine – you know, outside of being told to beware it because of your impending death and all – for all intents and purposes calling out the Ides of April would have gotten the Soothsayer the same reaction. Ignored.
I watched a segment on one of those morning news shows recently that had as a guest the author of Secrets of an Organized Mom. “When it comes to getting organized with kids, you have to start by throwing out some sentimentality” says professional organizer and mom Barbara Reich. “All those lovely artworks and macaroni-and-glue creations your little darlings bring home from school? Toss ‘em”. I agreed with the interviewer in that the advice sounded a little heartless. Barbara advises of the artwork “It’s really not that special”. Wow.
Okay, despite her blunt delivery, I agree. I imagine keeping every single piece of paper your children scribble on can get to be a bit too much. As I watch this, I am reminded of a closet in the house in which is piled several boxes of my stuff from elementary and middle school that I decide to tackle. What I have forgotten though is that years ago I’d already gone through the chaos that was this closet and there are only 4 boxes neatly stacked in the corner and a small basket with a lid that used to house a doll and her accessories. Well, I’m sure inside those boxes are plenty of papers that I can toss and whittle this down to 2 boxes instead of the 4. The first box was small and square. Able to be held in one hand it contained only a few books. The second much larger had a couple of baby dolls, doll clothes and shoes, those Mickey Mouse souvenirs from that Disneyland trip I’m sure I begged to have. Uh huh! I WILL use them! (…ahem….they are unopened and in prime condition….let’s move on…) my faded purple Wuzzles bag with the rainbow straps which contained more doll clothes, plastic hair rollers, a battery operated visor with lights, a strawberry shortcake – which I’m sure is actually my sister’s as I was forced to get Huckleberry Pie so we wouldn’t have the same character -yes, I AM bitter – and some other pocket sized doll with pink hair that I’m sure used to smell like something other than a cardboard box. A third heavy box full of books. Many of them I remember. Most of them had my sister’s name on the inside cover; neatly clicked out in white on red plastic tape made from a 1980s Avery label maker. I’m sure this was done to distinguish her books from my books. Whatever – finder’s keepers! The best thing I’ve found however is a notebook from around when I was 11. It’s banged up, missing a cover and most pages but some pages survived. This must have been a creative writing notebook as it’s filled with stories of a clumsy knight, time travel, characters named Ludmilla, field trips, a person drowning in a bowl of coco puffs and a speech written as if I were running for Mayor in which my slogan was “Don’t be defiant, vote for Shannon Bryant” Catchy huh? My favorite story which had me laughing for its absurdity is a mystery story. I’ve included the story below so that you can bask in my middle school genius-ness. I’m sure I didn’t keep this notebook on purpose. I’m sure I just threw it in a box to clean my room up at some point. After reading through it, I’ve decided that organizer mom is only partially correct. It is probably not feasible to keep everything your little ones make, be selective if you have to but don’t throw sentimentality out altogether. If this has been tossed, I wouldn’t have remembered that I used to like to make up stories – especially since I tell people all the time I suck at fiction. Maybe that’s not really the case. And maybe after reading the story you will remember that it’s not always the Butler who did it.
Who Dunnit’? (* Yes I really did use all of those exclamation points)
It all started on a stormy night in a big, spooky house. I was spending the night with my best friends who were sisters. Their mother was having company that night. Everything was going fine that night until SNAP, CRACKLE, POP “What was that!” I exclaimed “And don’t tell me someone’s eating Rice Krispies.” “Oh It’s just lightning said Mi-Mi . “Just lightning, said Fi-Fi, who was hiding behind a lounge chair “Easy for you to say”. Just then the lights went out. “Oh….oh great, the lights are out! “I’ll go put another fuse in the fuse box.” That was Gretchen the maid. “Hey listen, while were in the dark let’s tell a Ghost Story” screeched fi-Fi. Mi-Mi, and I agreed. “Once upon a high hill stood a really, really spooky castle. Every night the people who lived there heard screams that sounded like……Aaaaaghh! “Hey that was Gretchen! Something’s wrong!!!!” They rushed down to the study, only to find a half ring of people surrounding Gretchen, on the floor! The man stooping over her looked up and said “she’s dead.”
That night in the study, everyone discussed the death. ‘Now everyone calm down, we must find out who did this, now let’s see was it the Butler, the chef, one of the guests…….” “No it was me!” Startled everyone turned around “No over here in the corner” “In the corner?” I exclaimed “Why there’s nothing over there but a chair, a TV, a stereo, a dog….a dog!!!!!!!* It was you all long, but why?” “Why? I’ll tell you why. All these years that Gretchen mistreated me.” “What do you mean?” “All the other dogs in the neighborhood were eating Kibbles and bits, Gains burgers and Snausages in their own Bow Wow Kingdom. But me I was in the dog slum eating leftover broccoli and liver, not to mention the few chicken bones. Now I’ll kill all of you!” He pulled out a dagger and aimed it at us. Little did he know the dog catchers were on their way. He bounded at us but missed and fell out the window. Then Fi-Fi pulled out a can of whipped cream and sprayed it on the dog like a beard. She started screaming “Mad dog” when the dog catchers pulled up. They put paw cuffs on him and rode off. After that the family never bought a dog again and took to bird watching.
Yesterday was President’s day. I had already decided long before the sun cracked the holiday sky that I would spend the majority of it in bed flipping through channels and wondering why I pay so much for cable only to end up watching back to back episodes of Castle or The Mentalist. I picked up my phone from the nightstand and checked my email. Lo and behold an email from Lane Bryant screaming that they had bra’s on sale for $14.99 for today only in honor of President’s day. Crap! Plans thwarted. My bra’s run a conspiracy game in which they all decide that they want to break, snap, fray, spontaneously combust…all of the above…with the same two weeks. Because of this I find myself having to buy multiples at the same time. Realizing how much of a deal this was I jumped out of bed, dressed quickly and was on my way to the town center (which conveniently had a jewelry store located beside it for my shopping convenience ). “Hi Welcome to Lane Bryant!” the lady called as I kicked through the door. No time for pleasantries and manners. Every woman wearing a size 14 and up this side of the James River Bridge would be on the hunt for this deal. I don’t think I said hello back, I may have smiled but the only thing that came out of my mouth was “You have bra’s on sale?”. Normally I have better manners, but for my spidey sense telling me the game was afoot and I didn’t have time to waste on suck pleasantries as manners. “Over there” she pointed to a two tier rack to her side which was deserted. Yes! Seems everyone else had allowed the lure of a Monday off of work to daze their bargain shopping senses and keep them in bed, I thought. Silly rabbits…you choose to stay in your jammies and watch the view instead of scoring discounted lingerie. Clearly, I am the clever one. Or am I? The rack was relatively sparse and the only bras on sale in my size are some radioactive pumpkin orange colored monstrosities with big yellow flowers. Ick. It wasn’t even a cute orange. Who lost their job designing THAT bra? Not quite ready to give up I searched through the other sizes thinking perhaps some may be misplaced and Voila! I happen upon a decent blue and black number. Nothing I would have picked up myself but hey…for $14.99 I can live with it. Tried it on. Perfect fit. Dance of Joy. “Will that be all for you ma’am?” the lady asked. “Yes, thank you” I respond nicely, my manners having returned. Beep. She scanned the tag. “Oh. Did you find this on the sales rack? Someone must have put it over there by mistake it’s not on sale. The regular price is $36.00.” Face having fell, I wait a few seconds for her to offer a “But hey, our bad! I’ll give it to you at the sale price! Thank you for being a valued customer!” Silence. No such luck. Me frowning and manners having disappeared again “No, I don’t want it then” and flounce (maybe semi-flounce? ) out the door to the jewelry place to attempt to drown my disappointment in silver plated bliss. No such luck there either.
Later that evening a friend asked if I was successful in my hunt. I recounted my story. “You know….I’m starting to hate those narrow B cup women who can buy all the cutesie barely supportive bra’s at Walmart and Target for $7.99 while I have to shell out $36 bucks for a decent bra. $38.50 if it’s in some new collection”. “My sister complains about that all the time,” she replied. “Actually, I can find bra’s at Target….just not always the particular style I want.”
“You’re one of them!” I accused. Her friendship contract is up for review effective immediately.
I think I’ve offended The Godfather Cat.
It must have been him that I angered inadvertently when I shooed that random homeless hobo cat out from under my car that dark night when his freaky glowing eyes and quick feline movements caught me by surprise when I was on my way out. Stupid cat! And why is he napping under my car? Ugh! I glanced accusingly at the houses on either side of mine and thinking I’ll bet this cat belongs to one of you, flounced myself indignantly into the car and promptly sped away to my destination. It wasn’t the first time it’s happened and I thought nothing of it until today when I found a dead rabbit on my porch. Nay….ANOTHER dead rabbit! The first victim met his demise this past summer. Leaving early in the morning for work I saw the decapitated bunny head on the sidewalk directly in front of the porch step and screamed bloody murder. What the what?! I looked around for the perp or at least someone else to witness the horror. No one. Who does that? Or rather what?
Not wanting to be late (that was my excuse) I left the head and drove off to work and did what any red blooded American in 2012 would do in this situation - I posted my traumatic find on Facebook, took a poll on what vicious beast could have killed the fluffy cuteness and offered everything short of prostitution and top secret nuclear arms sales to the person who would remove the offense. This didn’t prove successful; however, with input from my
fair-weather Facebook friends I decided that surely it must be the Godfather cat himself who murdered Peter cottontail in cold blood with the candlestick in the billiard room and left his head for me to find as a warning. It took several phone calls and the
bribery offering of a seafood dinner to convince a reluctant friend to dispose of the head. All was well and right with the world…until today.
Today I was going to be on time for church. Yes! I would pull up precisely 5 minutes before service started, find a good seat without having to climb over anyone, say a few Good Morning’s and be pleased as punch at my accomplishment. I turned the ignition, thought I saw movement out the corner of my eye and turned to see some furry animal on the porch on the other side of the door. Was that there when I walked out just 10 seconds ago? Crap! Is that another rabbit?! Getting out of the car I crept back up to the porch albeit stomping along the way and making noise hoping the rabbit had only been frozen in fear and would hop off on his jolly way when it heard me. No such luck. Definitely dead. Standing and looking with grossed out face I looked around again for the perp or a witness only to see some guy across the street in a black sweats walking by.
Deciding he looked too much like a serial killer, I refrained from calling out to him to lend some neighborly help. I don’t have time for this. Jumping back into the car I sent this text message to the same friend: OMG THERE IS A DEAD RABBIT ON MY PORCH!!! PLEASEEEEEEE GET HIM!!!!!!!” His response: Again?. “Are you kidding me?” he asked when he called. I’ll spare you the details of my whining, and all the gagging noises I made as evidence that I could not touch the departed hare and the promise that I would be his best friend “…like FOREVER…” if he did me a solid and disposed of the carcass…again.
Hours later the body is gone the crime scene tape has been removed and all is right with the world again. I glance toward the window and wonder what might be taking place on the other side of that curtain, if Godfather Cat is still ticked off at me and decide that if I find a horse’s head on the porch come tomorrow….I’m packing up and leaving town!
Godfather Cat can have the house!
Abraham Lincoln had great handwriting”…
…is one of the thoughts I came away with earlier today as I walked past the guarded case containing the signed copy of *The Emancipation Proclamation. Only allowed to be out in light a measly 48 hours every YEAR to limit it’s exposure to light, naturally the line to view it was already wrapped around the side and front of the building by the time we arrived at the National Archives building in DC at mid morning. Still the line moved relatively quickly inside and out and within an hour and a half of collective waiting-in-line time we were eyeballing Mr. Lincoln’s lovely John Hancock on the original and super faded document. January 1st 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of its signing. I could go on to write about the divine providence of seeing this very document on Watch Night as many slaves in black churches did in 1862 praying and awaiting word that Lincoln’s proclamation would take effect, or how it’s signing also ”announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy”, or how I almost snuck and took illegal snapshots with my camera while inside the rotunda until the lady in line behind me who supposedly “didn’t know” she couldn’t take photographs (yeah right) got called out and yelled at (loudly!) by one of the security guards (See…if she had my level of museum ninja stealth she would have turned the flash off and pretended she was just updating her status. Pssh, amateur….) But no, no…I wanted to write an entry on how pretty the handwriting was. Ok, I’m not quite that shallow, but upon viewing the other charter documents (The Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights) along with others found in the public vault I couldn’t help thinking about the importance of words, and writing and keeping records and journals. At the National Archives we viewed a film on William Still an African American abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor who kept a most meticulous account of the escaping slaves he assisted. I also saw an infographic a few days back on my facebook feed about the difference in the habits of successful and unsuccessful people. One of which being that successful people regularly kept journals. Google it and you can find that many famous people throughout history kept them including just about every president (can’t wait to read Mr. Obama’s!) and that the it promotes both mental and physical well being. My sister has several blank books lying eagerly around the house, one of which I will be snatching up shortly now that I’ve recognized that though my accounts of finding that $85 sweater at Macy’s for $30 may not be exciting or important now to anyone now ( though I don’t understand why it wouldn’t be! $30 people?! Come on!) some day it may provide a valuable insight into life in the year 2013. Perhaps this is just an overly wordy substitute for a resolution to return to my journaling habit in the new year.
January 1, 2013.
Yesterday, I saw Abe’s signature.
*The final proclamation has been rarely shown because it was badly damaged decades ago by long exposure to light. Conservators rotate which of the five pages are shown to limit their light exposure. For this viewing in Washington, they displayed pages two and five, which is Lincoln’s signature page. High-quality copies were shown in place of the other original pages. So I got to view the actual signature page!
A few weeks ago over stuffed mushrooms and too many bread sticks my loopy carb induced self steered the conversation somehow toward reading. “Remember RIF?” I asked. They did not. “I wonder if they still do that? I don’t ever hear anyone talk about any books their kids bring home from RIF. That was a great program.” Reading Is Fundamental is what the acronym stands for and my knowledge of it boils down to just what I remember from elementary school. Once a year, the RIF people would come with their books and lay them out along long tables in the hallway. Class by class our teachers would march us by the tables to select a book that we could take home for free. Even though that was long ago I remember one year specifically, the year I discovered Bunnicula - the vampire rabbit. Blank stares and raised eyebrows from my dinner companions who’d never heard of Bunnicula and thought I was making it up. After shuffling past the table, I couldn’t decide between Fat Men From Outer Space or Bunnicula. I hesitated. I picked up Fat Men again to read the back cover again and a boy in my class scooped up Bunnicula. Curses! A bit later in class, before I’d even cracked the spine on my newly acquired piece of literary goodness, I decided that I really wanted to read Bunnicula…not instead of, but as well. Sidenote: This was probably the beginning of my propensity for Book Lust – the need to read more than one book at a time. After one or two ”No’s” and non compliance with my suggestion that he allow me to read his book first (I promise I wasn’t a bully only blinded by the allure of a vampire bunny) I talked him into letting me take it home “…for one night. And then I’ll bring it back to you tomorrow.” He sucked his teeth at me unbelievingly. ”You can take it home, but you won’t be able to finish it all in one night.” Oh, really now. Spurred on by this new temporary acquisition and even further by his challenge as soon as i got home I tossed my book bag aside, promptly planted myself in a chair in the living room directly under the light and began to read. I devoured Bunnicula. I didn’t get up for dinner or anything else until I was finished and God bless that vegetable sucking rabbit I was able to return the book with a smugness in my accomplishment and a nonchalant “I finished it”.
After dinner found me in the children’s section of Barnes and Noble looking for a copy of both of those books. They didn’t have Fat Men From Outer Space but they did have Bunnicula (Score!) and a bunch of other titles I recognized. I was overly excited. Apparently my excitement rubbed off on the sales person, she stayed a few minutes longer than she needed to and poured over the titles along with me picking out the one’s she had read. Honestly she was probably more excited than I was.
P.S – I am happy to report that RIF still exists and is still the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States. I am also halppy to report that I have added my name to the petition to ask Congress to support funding for children’s literacy in FY2013 budget. According to the website, nearly two-thirds of low-income families in the U.S own no books and that is a tragedy.
The Tambourine. Why isn’t it extinct yet?
I was in a restaurant/lounge with a friend a few weeks ago that hosts a weekly Karaoke that attracts a mostly older, (40 and up?) mostly African American crowd with the occasional sprinkling of thirty somethings (us) looking for a respite from the “Call me Maybe” bunch. Where one could sing Anita Baker-esque songs to their hearts content and not worry about putting the audience and the KJ to sleep because the song isn’t upbeat, bouncy and current enough. Heck…this crowd is still singing Roberta Flack. At some point in the evening someone was singing an upbeat, albeit not remotely current, song when one of the KJ’s pulled out from the bag of props a few tambourines and passed them around the room. The patrons were eager and showed no hesitation in their willingness to participate in this collective noise violation. Surprised, I stopped midsentence and with widened eyes as if I’d just discovered the Lochness Monster I told my friend that I’d never seen a Tambourine occupy space outside of a church building. This excludes of course grainy 1960s film clips of long haired LSD influenced hippies tambourine-ing to Bob Dylan and the sister girl from the Josie and the Pussy Cats cartoon who secured her spot in the all girl pop music band as “the first regularly appearing female black character in a Saturday morning cartoon show by” playing not one, but TWO of them!
It was odd…and funny! Exactly what song outside of Hymn#193 warrants such an accompaniment? Even then, who isn’t distracted by that lady in church ( every church has at least one, God forbid there are multiple offenders) who manages to conjure up out of thin air said jaengly contraption when the atmosphere starts to feel all “shouty” – Thank you ma’am, focus broken. *Sigh* Just pass the offering plate – or when the song is a throwback to GrandMaMa’s days when there were still tent revivals and mourners benches where the tambourine seems to fit. I’d like to make a motion to my fellow church folks to go ahead and let the church Tambourine retire… Its almost 2013. It’s time.
But why listen to me? I also hate organs and stained glass windows.
I’m sure this guy would disagree.
Perhaps I was mistaken.
Perhaps an Art History class on a Monday at 8 am in the morning in a dark auditorium with an instructor whose voice most often flat lines wasn’t such a bad idea. I mean after all, I’m the only one of my friends in my immediate circle who can pick out Rococo from Baroque (very useful skill in the workplace mind you), label a Greek column as Doric, Ionic or Corinthian (as every art student worth their salt should be able to), recognize that the Tower of Babel was most likely a structure called a Ziggurat, tell an Indian Buddha from a Chinese Buddha just by looking at its earlobes (confucious say I’m right on the money) advise you to take a closer look at some of that Greek Pottery before you buy it (.so you can avoid hearing ” Mommy what are those two men doing to each other?”) not confuse Manet with Monet… actually that last bit isn’t true but I figured, hey, you don’t know either so I’m pretty sure I can get away with it and a plethora of other artsy fartsy things you left brained folks probably don’t give a frog’s fat patootie about.
I’m not sure I was a very good art student. At least when it came to those things which required much abstract thought. I didn’t always try to read seven layers deep into something. I’m not particulary impressed with the Mona Lisa as I think I probably should have an obligation to be and outside of a passing interest I wasn’t impressed with this painting either. I thought it was stupid. ”The Treachery of Images” painted in 1929 by Belgian artist Rene Magritte often commonly referred to as ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe” which is French for “This is not a pipe”. So now you’re scrolling back up to look at the picture because clearly…it’s a pipe. But no, Ceci n’est pas une pipe….it is a painting of a pipe. And now you’re rolling your eyes (like I did once) and affirming that artsy people are nuts and most certainly smoking that stuff and solidifying your belief that your decision to study Quantum Physics was the correct one because you…artsy chick…are wasting my time. However, here Magritte is correct of course. If this were an actual pipe you would be able to stuff it with tobacco and smoke it. Would you not? This is only a painting of a pipe, which only serves as a representation of the real thing. The words below it contradicts and causes tension and you friend,have to decide which to believe. I mean, it most certainly looks like a pipe. But which one of these is the real authority? What you see or the explanation below it. Which is stronger for you?
I can’t do any justice here, nor will I try, to the Philosophical applications of this question, or the exploration of words and images in art, media, culture, community etc. etc. etc (though I wouldn’t mind…call me, let’s do lunch and discuss). I came across this painting today and it simply was a reminder to me, and perhaps now to you that you can’t always believe what you see with your eyes and that there are plenty of things in life that are counterfeit and poor substitutions for the real deal. Me…I want the real thing.
“It’s been a long time I shouldn’t have left you Without a dope beat to step to Step to, step to, step to Step to, step to….” ~ Timbaland
Alright I give.
For the past month and some change I’ve been trying to come up with a snazzy name for a shiny new blog to go along with the shiny new writing habits I’m trying to cultivate. Fail. On both counts. While I was not coming up with said blog name I was also not writing. But I can’t just have any old name, I reasoned. It’s gotta be catchy! It’s gotta roll off the tongue! It’s gotta tell the readers up front what I’m all about. It’s gotta be able to transition well into a website domain name once I have loyal followers and start making money even! I’ll definately need something interesting to put in the title banner space up top that really represents ME! *hand flourish* I mean it IS my name and reputation attached to this thing! And then the lightbulb moment when I realized that subconsciously I was using these diversions to postpone the actual writing. Not so much an avoidance to writing, per se, but to that great, great evil that mercilessly stalks Creatives in their art studios and apparently also unbeknownst to me before, their writing desks . If you write, paint, draw, compose music, you know of what I speak. It is the one ring that binds them all…..
The Blank Page.
Fear of a blank page. Blank Page syndrome. Fear of a white canvas. Google any variation of those words and you’ll find pages of artists referencing the paralyzing phenomena that awaits them at the beginning of every artistic endeavor and taunts them with threats of impending failure. Far as I can tell there is no official name for it (though I did find an interesting attempt here ) but it is the same no matter what you call it. I first “caught” it when I was in college. Picture it Sicily, 1935…er, rather Richmond, 19blah-blah on the second floor of the Art Foundations building. My drawing professor was somewhat of a character. He was a thin, older white gentleman with short white hair, white beard and mustache and a reddish nose. He wore the same thing to class every single day; a long sleeve light blue denim button down shirt with pockets, white tee underneath, black denim pants and black non descript shoes. On his face, shiny glasses. In his shirt pocket a backup pair with black rims that occassionally sported duct tape at one arm joint to keep it together. This particular instructor was fond of making us draw composition upon composition (upon composition) of the same darn two shoe boxes in different arrangements with an occassional empty stool thrown in for variety, supposedly to help hone our skills with line, perspective and foreshortening which I still hate (curse those boxes!). One day in class, when we weren’t peforming particularly well by his standards in getting basic shapes down quickly onto our papers he told us to partner up with a buddy. Then he instructed us to take our buddy’s drawing paper and put it on our own easels and make some marks on it. Heads snapped around and eyeballs locked on each other throughout the studio. Partly as if to say “why is he telling us to do that?” and “Whoa,whoa…that one piece of Arches White 140lb hotpress set me back $3.00…don’t go crazy!” We made a few light hesitant marks with our charcoal sticks and #4B pencils well aware that not being successful with your own drawing is one thing but mucking up someone else’s is an entirely different beast. “Fold the paper a couple of times…put some creases in it.” We folded. We creased. “Drop it on the floor…walk over it a few times. Jump up and down on it even. Get it a little scuffy” We jumped. We Scuffed. “Now pick it up and give it back to your partner so that you have your original piece of paper back now.” With our own drawing papers back in our possessions we stood a little dumb wondering what came next. Back at the front of the studio now and poised as if he were imparting little known wisdom from one of The Master’s themselves he told us ”Now that your paper has unplanned marks, its dirty from the floor and its got shoe and boot prints and scuffs and all that… you don’t have to be afraid of messing up a “perfectly good pristine” piece of paper. You can just draw”.
So that is what I’m doing. Instead of being drawn in but paralyzed by the slick white emptiness of a brand new blog, I’m picking up this old scuffy, marked on, filled with bad grammer, run on sentences many starting with “And” (Sinful!) wrinkly blog and I’m going to just…..write.