... and I woke up here 17 months later.

 Well I guess you can tell I'm not blogging every day anymore. I was planning to spin out some story of alien abduction and cryogenic something-or-other. But the truth is nearly as good. Life went on and then a plague started about 8 month ago and and instead of shelter in place, I sort of burrowed down and embedded even more than I usually had before that. The effect being that I haven't been out of the house very much at all and those times I never got out of the car. 

Really! That's what happened. Of course, why would I? My plan for retirement was pretty much, just this. I do miss going to Safeway once a week and doing some quick shopping. I looked forward to that. The world is now either masked or not. Rioting or not. Well truthfully, that's just here in the in the goodole US of A. Other countries have the good sense to just deal with the existential problems. 

In the meantime, Der Fuhrer, Emperor Trump continues his country-cidal rants and seems to want to whip up some kind of small civil war. 

Honestly, I was not planning on using this visit to the blog less to rant about the state of the country and the world, and more about the state of my mind. I'll get back to that.

Up and Down, down, down. That's the general pattern. I haven't been walking or sleeping. I have been painting and stressing. I haven't been writing or meditating. I have been eating and eating and thinking up and worrying about things that need to be done here on the rancho. 

I'm here (writing) because I've been painting and it's been a very interesting process involving all of the major emotional food groups. I have to force myself to begin. Remember there's nothing else occupying my time save the ADL and yet I have to force myself to paint. So I'm painting. I paint 4 pictures at a time, in acrylic. Four, so that I can move down the line and the previous ones will dry a bit before I get back to them. It's a round robin process.

While I get the papers covered with various paints I feel pretty good and most of the time, even get into a little flow state where I'm whistling and my mind is happily wandering off unattended while I listen to music or an audiobook. Then, like Norwegian symphony, after the background is done, doubt and depressive thoughts start creeping into my mind. I see that I have no plan for the work and my efforts are inadequate and stupid and any 3 year old could do better and have and do, every day. 

I've done this enough that I expect and see the pattern forming every time I paint now. I finish the initial work on the paintings in about 3 or 4 hours, sometimes more. During the second half, I divide my time into seeing hope for the paintings and then realizing it's total shit and I make plans to keep covering it with paint until it gets better or I run out of paint.

Eventually I stop and put my faith in part 2. What's part 2?  

Here's Part 2. It's an interesting thing. A couple weeks ago, I'd painted until I gave up in a depressed state and went about the day's pointless routine. These days my routine ends with me falling asleep in my chair in the front room and then either waking up and stumbling off to bed in the bedroom or just spending the night on the couch. If Sue has to work the next day I usually sleep on the couch so I don't keep her awake with my incessant tossing and turning. 

Before going to bed, I have to close things up and take meds and such. Some of these are in my office and, let me get back to the point. A couple weeks ago, after painting until disgust drove me away from the work, I woke up in my chair several hours later and went about closing up. I went to my office to take my medicine and turn off things and I picked up the paintings and looked at them. I was barely awake and aching to go to bed, but somehow I picked up one of the pictures and looked at it in the very low light and an amazing thing happened.

I suspended my hatred for the work I'd done and I saw a little something in it. I picked up a couple of  my acrylic pens and started drawing on top of the paintings and, even though I couldn't even clearly see the different colors I was drawing with or on, I felt good about what I was drawing. Circles, patterns, lines, hatching. Whatever I drew, it felt good. Like in a dream, when things seem to make sense and be revelatory, when you know they're not, I went with it. 

I drew, half asleep, with only faulty judgment propelling me, I finished the 4 pictures. Then I closed up and went to bed. When I got up the next day I was almost afraid look at what I'd done. I could only  remember the feeling of the barely seen drawing. I was a little afraid it would look like vandals had defaced my pictures. But truthfully, that wouldn't be such a great loss. 

When I finally looked at the pictures, they were pretty good, interesting. Almost like like someone else had done them. Not almost, like someone else had done them. 

From then on, until something changed, I've depended on Part 2 to correct and finish my paintings. As stupid as that sounds.

OK. That's all for now. I've typed my Hail Mary's. I've served up my penitence, hot and tasty. I've exercised my fingers and beaten my brain. I feel a little better.

I forgot to mention the forest fires and The VanderBeek Vision. Oh well.

More later,


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