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Archive for October 6th, 2020

Inertia


“Nothing is more obscene than inertia. More blasphemous than the bloodiest oath is paralysis.”

Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer


The painting at the top hangs in my studio and has been a favorite of mine since it was painted five years back. Every day, I find myself often looking over at it. There’s something in it that satisfies or completes something in me. It’s 24″ by 24″, so it’s not a small piece, but I think it’s not large enough to fully transmit what is has to offer. I often wonder how it would feel as a much larger painting, say 6′ by 6′ or even larger.

These thoughts went through my head this morning before 6 AM as I found myself, coffee in hand, turning to gaze at this piece. I realized then that I couldn’t remember the title of this painting that I look at with intention each and every day. I don’t think of it in terms of its title given to it years ago.

Now, it just is. It exists free of words for me. It is defined by the moment and the circumstance in which I am seeing it.

But I had to get up this morning and go over to it and peek at the back of the painting to see its given name: October Sky.

How fitting, I thought. It’s what I might have called it this morning. That mood that produced it back in 2015 was here in 2020, as odd as it is to think that anything could be similar in any way in this most unusual year. 

I went back to my desk and continued to stare at October Sky, thinking that I should be working on a larger version, if only for myself. I could start it today.

But I probably won’t.

I’ve been ensnared in a state of inertia for a while. Been hard to get started and even harder to finish things. I have personal projects around the studio and home to still finish, commissions to work on, new work to begin and a plethora of other things in the hopper. But getting up a head of steam to simply take that first step seems so difficult right now. It feels like paralysis of some sort, one that paralyzes the mind and not the muscles.

I can’t fully pinpoint the cause behind this though there are certainly a lot of possible contributing factors. Just opening your eyes these days is an existential threat to one’s peace of mind. I don’t even think I need to find the cause.

I just need to take that first step forward and I know from past experience that the dullness of mind and body will quickly fade. It’s just getting to the point of taking that step. It’s like I am waiting for something to happen right now and am afraid to be distracted even if that distraction is my own wellbeing.

Now, that sounds more ominous than it is, I am sure. I know I will soon be past this and the work will be flowing, that the synapses will be snapping and shooting off like fireworks. In fact, I think just writing this indicates that I am nearing the end of this malaise, this paralysis of the soul.

I am signing off now. I want to look again at October Sky. Maybe today’s the day I start a larger version. Or just take a first step toward something, anything else. I think there’s something pretty damn good in there just waiting to come out so maybe it’s time to get moving.

Sounds like a plan. Let’s get to the day and make it count.

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