Friday, November 4, 2011
I pulled out a charcoal sketch I begin a year ago. As it often is, I start things on what some would call a ‘whim,’ a quick thought or near gut reaction. I took the time after the last time I worked on it, to spray a workable fixative on it, so as not to smear it and just in case I wanted to finish it. Following that ‘gut’ again, I took it out of the case where I keep my work, taped it to my easel, fully intending to return to it today.
Before long, it was time to start dinner. I’m no cook and certainly don’t prepare dinner often enough to be quick about it, so as usual it took some time before dinner was done. As a matter of fact, I had just put the tilapia in the oven when my wife made it home from work. Oh well, so much for having dinner on the table.
Plan B: get back to the charcoal sketch, put finishing touches on two paintings and revel in my success. Plan C: sit back and wonder where the time and energy went. Plan C got a unaminous vote. It’s late, I’m tired, and I’m awake in less than 5 hours. I’m calling it a night. But sitting up looking at the sketch, I realized I had areas of detail to be worked out and like finding a treasure buried in sand, getting that detail out will take some time. In the moment I realize I don’t have a deadline. I also came to realize this: the discovery is not in the destination (reward) but in the journey (effort).
I know how it easy it is to be focused on the other side of an equation. You know 2+2=4 or man+woman=romance; we spend a lot of time looking at the right side of the equal sign and want to rush to get to it. But…