Sunday, April 4, 2010

Coulda Shoulda Woulda

Sharpening pencils

Coming to a close on a first-again lap around The Artist’s Way, I look back at the scrawls filling My Green Book of Morning Pages. So many woulds and shoulds.

I would not say . . .

I should be working. . .

If only I would. . .

I should think twice.

I wonder what would. . .

I should follow up.

And so it goes on. In tedium it would seem. And then I run across a passage of doublespeak, so obscure and circuitous, it stops me in my tracks.

Why so many shoulds? And not as many coulds? Could is a choice. Should is a task, not always welcome. Could is a condition of readiness, open to change. Why should? As opposed to could? Both words are conditional. Pending action on a tomorrow, a promise down the road. Or perhaps just a detour of the mind. A delay. A procrastination. Should is will, or should be. Could is can, or can be.

My point? I would tell you, if only I could.


  1. Pencil sculpture images arrived via email in a message from my sister-in-law, who sends cool stuff from time to time. Google search reveals the artist is Jennifer Maestre. For details and more views, try

  2. Well, I loved this post. I noticed early on that I use NEED like that. I need to do this. I need this or that. I need to think about.... I need to get X. I need to make a schedule. I need to knead some bread dough and shut UP! Morning pages are great for capturing some of our most persistent complaints and habits. Especially if we don't try to make our writings too wonderful. Congrats, Viv. You've done great work.