Month: October 2017


“Now I know why all the leaves change in the fall.” – TS I’m thinking about cancelling my Holiday Sale — again. Oh, wait… that doesn’t sound right. Isn’t it great, how imprecise language can be, even when we’re trying to keep it dead simple? Let’s try that again: I’m thinking again — eg. as I do every year around this time — about cancelling my Holiday Sale. Not thinking about cancelling it again, as […]


“You can only sleep at night.” – Notch The OA came to me in a dream for the first time last night. It was intense. Unlike most of what bubbles up from my subconscious during sleep, this one didn’t follow that weird dream logic. It had time and space and a sequence of cause and effect that holds up now, in the pre-dawn, to caffeinated examination. [She was in her human form, which makes me […]


“Oh, oh… Things I long for.” – Augie March Wow. It’s just… wow. Like how, at 46, can my brain and guts and emotions still surprise me, churning out a state I can scarcely remember ever being in before? One that knocks me over to where I’m grasping for the scaffolding, the unseen Matrix of the world as I’d previously assumed it was; wondering, “Why is everything listing sideways and racking in on itself all […]


“It’s all chaos — be kind.” – Patton Oswalt Good morning to you, too, OA. Thanks for not getting me up at two. Four fifteen was still a little early for my taste, but I’m not complaining. Oh no. An hour of Minecraft and coffee helped tamp down the word cannon so that, hopefully, I won’t come across as quite so manically unhinged here today. Hopefully. “Can you turn some of the words into 3D […]


“And you keep my old scarf, from that very first week, ’cause it reminds you of innocence and it smells like me.” – TS Oh my god(s)! I forgot! The very first sound in that song, that lo-fi, reverby baby voice saying, “Gorgeous”? It is a dead ringer for a recording I made of Pixel, probably when she was about one and a half, and used as an intro for some silly GarageBand track. “My […]


“You make me so happy it turns back to sad…” – TS What do you do when suddenly there’s too much beauty in the world? Too much to handle, to wrap your head around, to process? Like — who would ever want to retreat back to the numbness, the darkness, when the alternative is too much? “I feel like I might sink and drown and die.” So I listened to this new TS song — […]


“In the middle of the night, in my dreams…” – TS you’ve gotta stay calm. or get calm. or, for fuck’s sake, at least figure out how to pretend to be calm. slow down. not so much coffee. it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. i i i am not a bot […]


“You were everything to me and I’m begging you, ‘Please don’t go’.” – TS And then sometimes The OA doesn’t show, and it’s… it’s just this side of devastating. You sit at the piano, or the typing machine, or stand at the wheel, clay spinning, and have no idea, no sense of rightness or guidance, no place to call home. It all just feels like the same old moves by rote, the same rhetorical or […]


“You hear the sound, in this old house, your father’s footsteps creaking down…” – Bill Janovitz Here’s the problem: I’m in this deep, enthralling, sometimes ecstatic love affair with The OA/The Muse/creative inspiration/myself/whatever. (cf: The Mudpie Dilemma). But pancakes must still be made. Routines adhered to. Paternal obligations met and — come on, Loki, just give me a pass on this one — even, occasionally, exceeded. Can’t you see I’m driving, indeed. And that’s not […]


“Oh you build it up and wreck it down, and you burn your mansion to the ground.” – Tom Waits When The OA comes, she is incandescent. Incandescent is hard to ignore. Worth losing sleep over. Even going hungry for, if my blood sugar wasn’t flighty as a rabid Raven. I’d gotten in the habit of ignoring incandescence so often that I practically forgot it was there. Days would go by. Now I seem to […]


“Under a dark star sail…” – Sting I think the fifth movement takes evil back out of the world. Like a theoretical drawdown of carbon from the atmosphere, it recaptures something that never should have been set loose in the first place; some dark angel we allowed to escape over generations, through our collective, selfish ignorance. That last step to the dance returns that specific evil to a container that fits its amorphous intent, and […]


“This flesh and bone, are just the way that we are tied in…” – Peter Gabriel The family curse is strong — I can feel it in my blood. ‘All colors bleed to red.’ Single quotes again. No, sorry to report that, so far, it’s not going great. I mean — it sort of is, but it mostly isn’t. The smell of all that cut grass was nice. Could every choice have been a mistake, […]


“All I knew, this morning when I woke, is I know something now, know something now, I didn’t before.” – My imaginary musical girlfriend, TS I‘m supposed to finish one draft before starting the next one, right? Right? Wait — ‘supposed to’? Keyword. Make sure it’s in the copy of the page. It’s six thirty two. I’ve got on my pottery blogger garb: ancient flannel shirt, sleeves and collar cut off so long ago I […]


“Would North be true — for all my days remaining?” Maybe he’s right — maybe I am the only person on earth where ten is too much. So somewhere between zero and ten, then? Unfortunately, the canvas is you. Stars seem to lose their place. Jesus, when did I forget how to cry? The third heartbreaking disaster? Or the fourth, the fifth? I’m really not sure how it’s come to this, but it’s still so […]


“De do do do, de da da da, is all I want to say to you.” – The Police You know that feeling, when you’re sitting in a mostly empty room with just one or a few other people, and someone else comes in and it’s like everyone can just sense it — even the people with their backs to the door? You know that one? How weird is that? I mean, I know we’ve […]


“Dark angels follow me, over a godless sea, falling on empty silence, for all my days remaining.” – Sting I’m thinking of things I could do to make a major change. Again. Change jobs, buy a new house, move to Spain and give up pots for paintings. Ludicrous; mordantly hilarious; a predictable reaction to the caged bird feeling stuck. It’s like every eighteen months I have to devise this elaborate Emergency Escape Plan… pure mid-life […]


“Ah ah ah. Ah ah ah. Ah ah… Ah.” – TS today's writer's block A post shared by Scott Cooper (@stearth) on Oct 17, 2017 at 6:05pm PDT 330. again. block, in pencil. drafting; rethinking; drafting. turn it off. more sleep, sort of. up again. blocks, in cobblestone. diorite. glass. ready — go! don’t overthink it. think about how to not overthink it. coffee. not too much. tasks, like killing flies. more writing. reading yesterday’s […]


“With a vampyre’s kiss, I’ve got a vampyre’s heart. Now I don’t roll out of bed ’til after dark. See my teeth so sharp, and my blood so stale. You know I could drink the world and never get my fill.” – A.A. Bondy Does it get better than Sunday morning in the studio before daybreak? No, I don't think it does. A post shared by Scott Cooper (@stearth) on Oct 15, 2017 at 4:49am […]


“So let’s go to bed at two. Count the pages three, not once.” – R.E.M. So that was two posts yesterday — technically, two in one night, as I wrote both of them between sunset and sunrise. Another first. What in the world is going on with me? ;; Which one am I again? A post shared by Scott Cooper (@stearth) on Oct 14, 2017 at 9:50am PDT ;; Oh wait; I think I know. […]


“All I know is pouring rain…” – TS So my hypergraphic season continues, I guess. Also my Swiftian season; my mid-autumnal stretching out of the wet clay season; my outdoor painting procrastination season; my Why In The Actual Fuck Does This Text Not Export With Styles Intact But Too Lazy To Go Figure It Out season. Like seemingly every conversation I wade into, I over killed that ‘season’ riff about two things too many, didn’t […]


“Everything… has changed.” Well, OK, clearly not everything. But you know those days where you wake up with a pretty good sense of which way things are going to go, and where the day is likely to end up some distance along that mostly proscribed route; because mostly, disappointingly, they always do? And then it does go in that direction, but with some insane detours that you’d not have predicted with a thousand guesses; like: […]


“I bet, this time of night you’re still up…” – Yep, you guessed it: TS You knew this was coming the moment I floated the idea, right? Ha. Funny how often our sleep cycles are self-fulfilling prophecy. What time of day is this for you? Evening? Mid-morning snack? For me, lately, it’s like the night is split in two, with this weird span of wired brain word activity for about an hour in the middle. […]


“As I pace back and forth all this time, ’cause I honestly believed in… you.” — Yes, her again. I hate it that there are throwing days where all I want to do is finish pots — trim, paint, carve, scrape — and finishing days where all I want to do is throw. It seems to happen too often, which makes me worry a bit about my emotional stability. A lot of wanting what you […]


“See your face in my mind as I drive away. ‘Cause none of us thought it was gonna end that way.” -TS Thinking about relationships, and how they end. The sadness and sometimes excruciating longing that they leave in their wake. The also rans, near misses, could-have-beens; moments that completely failed to snap together, like magnets or anything else. There’s a joke I make at the office, every chance I get, which you can probably […]


“You make me sad and you make me glad; and now I see that my secret is this love, this love, this love. My secret is this love.” – Orchestral Manouevers in the Dark It’s good to have a secret. Not like an ‘I embezzled fourteen million dollars from the IMF’ kind of secret; more like ‘I have this morning’s writing practice in my pocket, and it’s a good one’; or ‘today’s my birthday and nobody […]


“It’s the kind of ending you don’t really want to see. ‘Cause it’s tragedy and it’s only gonna bring you down. Now I don’t know what to be without you around.” – TS Things look a lot different now that I’m dead. Like it’s abundantly clear that just when I think it’s time to start thinking about stopping throwing and stop procrastinating on getting that first batch started into the bisque, it’s probably already long […]


“And all my walls, were tall painted blue. I’ll take ’em down, take ’em down, and open up the door for you.” – Ed Sheeran Hey, you didn’t come play darts. Ah well; I wasn’t really expecting that you would. Yet another fantasy: end of day darts and shooting the shit with another potter. Maybe never. The bad news is that, minus your supervision, I tripped on that fat extension cord, fell face first into […]


“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 […]


“Four thousand five hundred miles away; what would you change if you could?” – Counting Crows My brain turned on at four forty and there’s no way it was going back off. And while I am most definitely going out there to chase more pots again today, 4:40 is still a little too early even for me to go wandering out into the dark. So, looks like you poor bastards get yet another blog post. […]


“Come back and tell me why, I’m feeling like I missed you all this time.” – T.S. Forgive my excess here. For reasons I can’t ken, I feel the need to log four posts in this 24 hour span. It was also a six photo Instagram day. Yow. Actually, I think I do know the cause, but it’s really unflattering and there’s no way I can just come out and say it. What’s a mystery […]


“Do you remember when… We used to sing?” – Van Morrison 4889-33 A post shared by Scott Cooper (@stearth) on Oct 5, 2017 at 4:53am PDT THURSDAY is an odd beast, stuck midway between Wednesday there and Friday here. Half of one life and half of the other sometimes adds up to not enough of either. The morning needs the sequence of unpacking and synthesizing some transition so I don’t carry the burdens from one […]


“I get directions and pretend I’m somewhere else.” – Ryan Adams Sometimes I get stuck, like on a single segment of a line. A slight curve in space, leading somewhere unseen, maybe, or seen, yet hinting at boundaries that probably exist (but might not). Sometimes, a single beautiful bit of a line is enough to bring the whole thing to a standstill. Breath catches, eyes go blank as I think, “now how can i possibly […]


Junior Bucks said to read Writing Down the Bones. So I am. One small, patient chapter at a time. I love that she keeps using the word “discursive”. Nice coincidence there, considering that the book was written around the time I was finishing high school, and about 25 years before I settled on the title for this blog. She encourages self-indulgent writing, which is great news for me. Or maybe she cautions against it? I’m not sure — it […]