“And I got tired of waiting; wondering if you were ever coming around.” – T.S.
So, what kind of day has it been? The kind where I realize, for the hundredth time or the ten thousandth hour, that I still suck at throwing tall, narrow cylinders. Especially in porcelain. The kind where I write in the too-early pre-dawn haze and then work in a semi-hallucinative state through most of the afternoon. The kind where I realize, rather late, that if I sacrifice an hour of downtime at night, some days, eightish to nineish or so, I can let the pots just keep going in a continuous flow; not hard stopping for the arbitrary (aka “realistic”) end of the work week, but instead making whatever I can, finishing whatever I can, keeping the rest lingering under plastic and chipping away at it, as I can; even, shockingly, at the end of a long, hard office Monday, or late after a kids’ bday party and its associated hoohah. That longer term commitment cuts down on the usual Saturday panic; maybe a good trade off.
Reminds me of those precious few weeks at Penland, when I’d drive back up to the studio in the dark, after my girls were in bed, and take one last shot at that day’s work. Ends up it’s a good time for certain things — carving or punching holes or whatever. I like working with all my usual filters off; there’s a higher chance of really just fucking things up, of course, without my normal impulse control — but the occasional breakthrough or glimpse of some future around an unexplored corner might be worth it, in the end.
And it’s so satisfying, in part because it’s so difficult to sustain; and so unlike who I’ve grudgingly accepted that I am (or must be). Like living another kind of life, or jonesing on pretending I’m a mini-Michael Kline or something. A night owl who’s also a morning owl. Makes for kind of a grumpy, fucked in the head owl, who ain’t much good at hunting and shouldn’t go sharing his random thoughts on the public Internet.
I’m aiming to head back out there for a while again tonight, too, although I might pass out and hit my head on something. Gonna try to get lugs on these vases with the perforated walls, before they get too dry, and might take a pass at those sacred curve bowls (so to speak) with the new zebra carving tool. It should be a hoot; if you wanna come by and shoot the shit or play darts or something, just gimme a holler.
“I had more to say. I swear I had more to say. – Michael Simon
If you haven’t heard that ep of RCR, well, you owe it to yourself; and second, if you have, but you don’t remember the exact phrasing and intonation of that line, I mean, seriously man, you’ve gotta go check it out. It’s an all-timer. I’ve never heard anything more truthful than that.
“Unfortunately, the canvas is you, and sometimes you’ve gotta repaint it a bit, you know: try things out.” – Marc Maron
I bet, when I’m sittin’ in my chair by the window, sometimes wonderin’ ’bout you, it just doesn’t add up. I keep waiting for all my efforts to result in someone transcendently better at doing this; or ideas that are unquestionably an improvement on my older ideas; or for a wellspring of motivation to appear that erases all the typical doubt and exhaustion and hesitation. None of those ever come; I got tired of waiting for the person I never showed up to be.
But, like Maron says, the canvas is you. All you can do is keep trying. We each only get one, by my estimation, but I see no limit to the number of times we can recoat or scrape away the old and try again. Every passing moment is another chance to turn it all around.
“We keep quiet ’cause we’re dead if they knew, so close your eyes, escape this town for a little while.”