Saturday, February 20, 2016

Branching Out


Sometimes, when I don’t know what the hell to do next, and I’m feeling a bit unsettled, I draw some growing thing. When my youngest son started school full time and I suddenly had the house to myself for hours on end, I sat down and drew the giant tree in our neighbor’s backyard. I used charcoal on a giant pad of newsprint and filled the whole page.

Three days ago, I quit my agent of ten years. It was time, and I don’t regret it, but yesterday morning I woke feeling adrift and at sea. So I drew the tree again. This time with India ink and tempera on cardboard. 

A lot has changed in 10 years. The giant tree is even bigger, and that youngest son is getting ready to pick a college.

I’ve changed too, but have I changed enough?

Mary Oliver asks,

“Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
           astonished.”


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