Writing is Hard


The longer I sit at my “desk” (it’s a table, though: blond wood, stained with 50 years of breakfasts in my grandparent’s kitchen) the less interesting the inside of my head becomes. But I wouldn’t really know. I’m not letting myself in there. What am I hiding in that hard skull that I do not want myself to witness?

I move to the living room: a dining room table of brown Ikea wood is covered with junk mail and the indecipherable clutter of my partner. Clean it up? Not now, I want to write! Still my mind rebels. I’ve got nothing. I don’t know why I even try. Upstairs, the neighbor’s phone vibrates through the ceiling, and the distraction turns me again from my work. Emails fly cheerfully into the upper right corner of the computer screen, popping up like fans behind the free-throw hoop.

I have nothing but distraction. I have no tips for myself, no tips for the other writers who spend their days in a state of suspended concentration. My imagination, so active in my sleep, has shut down for now, and all I can comment on is what I am doing, right now, at this very moment: articulating the space around something I don’t want to think about.

The Princess Building

3BBADC7A-9A1E-49FA-9E41-0AB51C1C1344.jpegYesterday was meant to meant to be warm. My sister was visiting and we had big plans: the Cloisters, The Botanical Gardens. Drinks on a patio. Long walks through the city. We did some of this. But by the end of her stay, we still craved a bit more of the fresh spring air that collects in pools above blooming tulip and daffodil beds. We wanted to walk under the blossoms of lilacs and magnolias one more time together, before she flew of to the still-thawing Midwest.

We took the train uptown and got off into a wind of pin-prick raindrops. My sister, optimistic, had worn a sweater and overalls with the sleeves and legs rolled up, and no jacket. She rolled her sleeve down. She rolled down her pants legs. It was too cold. We were back with the winter weather, but now with cherry blossoms falling instead of snow. We had to go back inside, and watch the weather tangle in the spire of the Princess Building from behind a window.

The joy of technology

I’m slow to pick up new technology. While I recognize the many conveniences that it brings to our lives, I also worry that some joy is lost. I’m even considering taking a Mallet to my Smart phone: It is starting to feel poisonous to my life.

Recently I was introduced to some technology that I feel very excited about. I went to an exhibit of David Hockney’s, and was sucked in by his potent colors. At the end of the exhibit, a wall of screens showed his work on the iPad: the painter’s medium is now digital. I was fascinated to se how his new paintings and his work on the iPad seemed to influence one another. His pigments are even more brilliant and C7E380A2-DC7D-4067-9A8D-5BF2FECDAE97saturated than before.

One of David Hockneys iPad paintings and a new [paint] painting.
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the possibilities that digital painting presents. And so, I am a joyful new adapter of a technological innovation! And feeling pretty pleased with myself.

Drawing with the iPad pen feels strangely frictionless. I still have bad control over the

My first try at iPad drawing.

quality of my line or the color. But I love that I can use many effects on one “canvas”. I’m thrilled about the possibility of being able to draw and paint on the go. And for the opportunity to share! Soon I’ll put up a painting I did with real paint to compare. I don’t think that iPad art will replace the tactile pleasure of painting with oils for me, but there undeniable advantages to having such a vast toolbox in a 2 pound package.