So. How long ago was it that I got sick from my acrylics?
I know: A billion years.
And all this time I have been promising you panting hounds the long, cool drink of knowledge:
Just what the heck is Harmony painting with these days? What is this masked mystery medium she’s referred to? And how about that curious cardboard box, too?
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And Now Back to Our Regular Programming
Yes. Yes, of course. You were wondering about paint.
And I have meant to tell you about it for months.
I lost my dash, my daring. I lost nerve.
I have planned a post in my head now for two months now, introducing you to my new medium — both of my new mediums — and to many charming paintings, but somehow, somehow, that post never gets written.
Again and again, the writing doesn’t occur. I don’t do it.
Finally, though, I’ve noticed the pattern, caught it in my gaze as it tries to melt back into the woods.
And I know: When something does not happen again and again, it’s time to dig to its roots.
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I think I’ll need to have a word with that sponsor soon.
It’s late afternoon. The day has been full with conversation and quiet. The autumn sun hangs ripe in the sky. I hear the sounds of hammering from a rooftop. Everyone is preparing for the storms to come.
Twenty minutes ago, I sat here at my computer, my socked feet propped up on the table legs, and stared out at my greatest confessor: the blank page.
And suddenly, this happened:
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My brother-in-law, born in the 80s, told me recently that he was raised by television. If he was raised by TV, then I was raised by commercial announcements.
Courage: The Breakfast of Champions!
Break me off a piece of that courage bar!
Courage: It’s what’s for dinner.
I can’t believe it’s not courage!
C-c-c-courage. One of the all-time greats!
As I sat in the glow of my monitor, as the hammering sounds echoed across the rooftops behind me, as Miss Addie stole into my office and wrapped her tail around herself for a nap, old jingles and advertising slogans pranced through my mind.
My courage has a first name. It’s O-S-C-A-R!
Nothing outlasts the Couragizer.
This is your courage on drugs. Any questions?
After a lifetime in consumer culture, when advertising opens its gaping maw to speak, I’m well-trained to listen.
Here’s what I hear:
The moment I settle in to write a blog post about paint, when I have only shared one painting (sweet St. Francis) in recent months, when I am at the far edge of frustration about my recent block on sharing artwork, when I’m clench-jawed and ready to white-knuckle my way through this, just then, the vast storerooms of my subconscious mind begin to speak.
It’s courage, the San Francisco treat!
When this first skirled through my head, I thought it was just a clever way for me to hide my feelings.
Hey, says my good ol’ subconscious, let’s be clever. Instead of writing what’s real, we’ll just mis-quote commercials! We’ll be much more popular this way.
(Actually, that last part is probably true.)
Now, though, I’ve purged my system of most of the slogans, and I find that a greater truth remains:
Courage wants my attention.
From where I sit, I can see four kitty paintings that I haven’t shared with you.
I can see a colorful collection of paints, a palette open wide, a brush dangling off a table’s edge, a block of paper having drifted to the floor.
I can see drawings I haven’t shared, notes on stories that haven’t seen light, and a near empty easel with a canvas askew, with just a few lines suggesting the kitty to come.
I can see the computer that hosts the first draft of something of exhilarating fun, which also causes me to tremble in my variegated socks.
Despite the traumas in the last few months, my world has truly burst with creativity. I have burbled with new ideas, guzzled new knowledge, bounced with anticipation at what’s to come.
I just haven’t found the courage, in the past couple of months, to share much of it at all.
Now, though, it’s time for courage to return.
Yes, courage has called. It’s mine for only a penny and I can cancel anytime.
Check back here for it soon.