Thursday, August 12, 2010

On a slow day

Have you ever actually seen a turtle crossing the road? Indeed a pitiful sight, an exercise in futility, surely to meet with shell-cracking, body-flattening disaster. Death by speeding rubber. But still, imagine that act of faith in the motion forward. Onward. Proceed at all costs to the other side.

Because I am slow to cross the road, because I am slow to read signs, even when the handwriting’s on the wall, because I am slow to say goodbye, troubled by closings and endings of all kinds, because I’m slow to write, a procrastinator by nature, because I’ve developed the habit of checking this blog from day to day and dropping my line or two, because habits die slowly, even when splattered on the road, here I am.

Here. Present. Hand raised. Eager to answer a question no one has asked of me. Ready. Notebook open. Seated in a classroom, where no one is taking attendance, where I am the sole student. Slow learner. Stringing sentences together. Writing for the sake of . . . writing. On a blog that I did not begin. Okay, let’s see how this goes. A turtle. Crossing the road.

Friday, August 6, 2010

When one road closes....

You know the old saying, "Close a window. Another window opens."  And so on.  I'm saying that now.  Time to close the blog. 

Time to set the Wayfarers free to explore new paths on the Artist's Way or new paths off the Artist's Way. Viv and I have talked. (It turns out there's this crazy thing that's not on the Internet.  It's called "The Phone."  Cool.) We agree it's time for us to move on.  I have a lot of baby blogs in the Blogger nursery, not to mention about three novels on life support.  Viv has a couple of URLs ready to go.

I know -- because I have heard from several of you -- that your paths are diverging through the summer.  And your creative souls are as rich as ever they were.  Merely a little diverted... like mine.

Now, when I say "close the blog," I do not mean "kill the blog."  As far as I know, the blog will be right here and fully operational for possibly years and years.   Feel absolutely free to come here and read the old posts or leave a new post. 

I'll drop by from time to time to see if weeds are popping up through the pavement.  Did you ever see that show, "Life After People"? It's a vivid demonstration of how the dust bunnies would REALLY multiply if all the folks on earth left for some unknown reason.  Anyway, I think our little blog may soon get overgrown with vines and have zoo animals roaming around in it.  (Which would be different, how?  I hear you.)   But it will still be here.  For the Blogger version of Forever, however long that may be.

I'm building a new blog that's not all about the AW.  It's called Lake E and I intend it to be kind of a journal, kind of an exploration, kind of an excuse to keep writing.  It's at  Right now, it's an empty lot.  Later, we'll see. 

For now, I have to say this has been great for me.  You've been great, all you Artist's Wayers, from January right on till August.  Isn't that fine?  Take a minute to consider one fabulous thing you've learned about yourself in 12 weeks or 24 weeks or a week and a half.  Whatever it's been for you. 

You have absolutely everything you need to continue whenever the road calls to you.  The Book.  A pen.  Or pencil.  A notebook.  Or just paper.  Or just a blank wall and a crayon. A scrap of fabric.  A keyboard.  A knitting needle (or two.)  Whatever.  And you have your Artist.  Waiting to go on a date with you.  Standing right there.  (She's got your back and you are NOT Sandra Bullock.  So, lucky you.) 

I have your back, too.  You can take the Sherpa off the mountain, but you can't take the mountain .... rats.  What does that mean?  That doesn't work.  I hate it when cliches don't pan out.  That's their job.  To always pan out.  Rats. Rats.

At any rate, you have me.  My phone number.  My email address.  My absolutely forever promise to support your creativity in any way I can.  Let's stay in touch.  Or get back in touch.  Let's share our projects.  Our plans and goals.  Our promises.  Our blood oaths. Our vacation schedules, our recipes for panna cotta.  Really.  I count you all among my very best and most valued friends.  I get tremendous strength and encouragement simply from knowing you're in the world.  Let's stay in touch.  And whatever I can do to boost you along your path, let me know.

Let's give Bilbo Baggin's the last word.  I love him.  And you.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.


Sunday, August 1, 2010


Can you imagine? Who would think to write a book where every sentence is a question? Have you read anything before by Padgett Powell? Do you find him as wickedly funny and remarkably clever as I do? Out of curiosity, have you paged through the author’s latest novel at a book store and decided not to buy it? In fact, can The Interrogative Mood even be considered a novel? Have you ever judged a book by its cover and been terribly mistaken?

Do you use exclamation points when you write letters? Do you find elegant the hypothetical question? Are you forever asking yourself how you are? And do you really care? Are you ever bored with your interior dialogue?

Do you religiously wash all your vegetables when you bring them home from the store? Do you prefer paper or plastic? Have you ever wished you could just drive off into the sunset, with or without your mate? Are you amused by the smallest thing sometimes? Have you ever heard voices in your head? No, really?

Can you explain relativity to a child? Can you even explain your relatives to your children? Have you ever considered taxidermy as a profession? Are you bothered by non sequiturs? Do you have a high tolerance for nonsense? Are you troubled by Spell Check? Do you ever miss the big picture? Do you often get the point? If there really were a genie in your bottle, and he could grant you just one wish, what would it be? And would you then change your mind? Does the inquiring mind really want to know? Exactly how much?