The answer is short but not sweet, just sad: “Nothing since February.” The inevitable “Why, do you think?” can only be expressed as an absence: “I have completely lost interest in painting.” The only piece I managed to do was a remembrance of a dearly loved dog of a friend. Other than that, I can’t
even bring myself to start something.
Having this conversation with other artists revealed that the vast majority of us are in this same state: all of us trolling through hundreds of our digitals, seeking in vain for inspiration. I think it is a form of shock, and I honestly may not paint again. Not a bad idea, given the size of our wee house. Still, it’s worth reflecting on, if only as a symptom of extreme change. Life may never be the same again, but we all hope to salvage the really precious moments. That used to include painting, so one hopes.
What this whole year of dancing backward has helped my little family to realize is that our needs are quite modest; we are perfectly happy to stick close to home, to cook our own food and to stand glued to the windows in the study endlessly gawking at the orioles. Just being together is enough. Jon and I both are addicted to learning, though we practise different styles. Jon’s earbuds are usually tuned to CBC or PBS or POTUS and I have learned not to challenge him on detail. His other mental workouts generally involve the intricacies of bicycle mechanics. The Dungeon, our basement, now features a tiny perfect bike shop where the magic happens.
I am more of a visual learner and my earbuds are there to keep sound out, so it’s books for me. After all, I always had at least two on the go and now Libby feeds me an endless supply. I have read a dozen or more books on American politics, gazillions of novels, and some wonderful books on biology, in particular Vesper Flights, Nature’s Best Hope (short version — plant oaks!!), and Becoming Wild, a brilliant look at the evolution of culture in animals. We regularly listen to science podcasts like Quirks and Quarks, The Hidden Brain and Science Friday. What an embaras de richesses technology provides.
Theodore continues to read his pee-mail carefully but is no longer handling out-of-town correspondence.