Whew! I was having some sketch withdrawal issues there for a minute. So this was a lovely calming exercise for a Saturday morning.
My perspective work of art so far consists of many straight lines vanishing into the vanishing point. It looks a little like a shrinking black hole. I got tired of staring at the page wondering what to do next. The above satisfactorily bumped me out of a perspective induced hypnotic trance of sorts. I don’t really know what that is, but I’m pretty sure I was in one.
My astute observation for the day: eyelashes are easy to over do. A lot like applying mascara. Too much and you reach clown status. Go ahead, critique the eyelashes! I can take it! (No I can’t).
Back to the drawing board to build my city street on its way to oblivion.
But first…..more coffee. It’s shaping up to be an awesome weekend.
A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene. Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.
We went for a stroll one afternoon in the park. I thought it might be our last outing of the season before the snow came, or even the last for the year until spring, supposing I survived the winter. Possibly the last park stroll of my life. I didn’t know. There were no birds to feed, the geese had all gone south. Leaves were falling and skittering across our path in the brisk wind and there was a faint smell of burning in the autumn air. Cold enough for a jacket buttoned up and for noses and cheeks to tingle. So I was surprised when we came across the old woman sitting alone on her bench, bare hands on cold steel needles. She looked up but the little clicking sounds the needles made as she worked bright red yarn around them never faltered. Her steely grey eyes peered straight through me as if I wasn’t even there. I let go of Sally’s hand and roughly brushed the tears I couldn’t control from my cold cheeks. What the hell? I never used to cry. But my emotions had gone haywire lately. I wanted immediately to lash out at a perfect stranger, shake my fist, yell at her wrinkled old face. Look at me, I’M STILL HERE! I’m not gone yet. And it won’t be today. Today is NOT a good day to die. I looked away, wiped my palms on my jeans, and grabbed Sally’s hand. And then we just kept walking.
There was such a sadness in Sam that last fall we spent together. And so much anger. I honestly don’t know how I’d handle a similar diagnosis, but when he got the bad news, I decided the right thing for him to do was to keep on living. No giving up, no wallowing. I wanted him to be grateful for every single day he had left and happy to live all of them. But his moods were just all over the place. Of course I understood why, but still it was hard for me to cope with the intensity and the fierceness of his feelings. The funniest things would set him off. Like the day we went for a walk in the park. Everything was so beautiful and colourful and crisp. I’ve always loved Indian summer. There was a little old grandma sitting on one of the park benches busily knitting a child’s bright red sweater. She glanced up at us as we approached and I returned her sweet smile. It vanished though, when she looked at Sam. Because he was crying. Deep wrenching sobs, although later he’d claim it was just a few tears from the cold air and some pent-up emotion and naturally he didn’t want to talk about it. He dug his fists into his eyes, and then he grabbed my hand again and almost wrenched my shoulder out of its socket pulling me away. That poor old grandma, I’m sure he must have given her a crazy scare. And poor me. But mostly, poor, poor, dear Sam.
I was never one to sit at home by myself with nobody to talk to and nothing new to see, so as long as the weather stayed decent and my legs were willing, I’d pack up whatever I was working on and shuffle my old bones over to the park across the way. The bench I liked the best was under a big old red maple tree, and that fall it was just gorgeous. Red as the little sweater I had decided to knit for the dog I didn’t have. Once in a while the odd curious person would take the time to stop and chat. I lived for that. I used to tell fortunes and predict the future in my younger days, but those skills must fade away with age and lack of practice, because I got pretty rusty. Still, I liked to give it a whirl whenever I had the chance. Mostly I’d come up with nothing much to write home about. So when that young couple walked up the path it was like I’d been struck by psychic lightning. Her sadness mixed up with bewildered confusion, his rage manifested in clenched fists and choked back tears. Their combined unhappiness almost bowled me over. There was so much I wanted to say to them about hope and faith and nothing written in stone, but they didn’t stop. Maybe it’s just as well. They were both already resigned to a future they believed they were powerless to change. Too bad no one likes a little old lady who interferes.
If we look at great expectations on a number line we’ll see that all of mine hover around the zero mark. That’s really the only thing that makes them great because it’s so easy for them to drift either way. No plummeting or soaring required. That way if something fails to happen or turns out all wrong, it’s okay. Kick it off into the minus zone and carry on. And if something beautiful and joyous and wonderful comes along I can gratefully embrace it and leap up to the plus side for however long it lasts.
Anticipation can be a crippling waste of the present moment if it grows big enough. I try to keep it in perspective so that it won’t consume me.
So, in other, faster, less round about words, there is really nothing major on my personal agenda for this year. Might take a trip to Ireland. Maybe go on a river cruise in Europe. Get hit by a bus. Have a heart attack and die. There are a lot of possible scenarios out there.
Right now I’m going to start a second blog site and begin writing a story of some sort or other. The rest of you here have all inspired me. Everyone has something interesting to say, and I think if I type away for long enough perhaps my own unique something will pop up when I least expect it. Stranger things have happened I’m sure.
Seems to me to be as good a way as any to start off a brand new year. One day at a time, one word after another, moment by moment by moment.
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