Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Drawing again

As I drift back to my prepartum weight, I find myself awakening to charcoal. I'm amazed to see that the little desire is still alive. It has been submerged for years now, and I had not thought to revive it. But, it has started again, and even though I haven't yet rummaged in my cupboards for the stumps that I have left, I recognize its coming, because when I look at people I know, I start to see their planes and smudges, their sparkles and twists, their weight and texture. And they look different every time I see them, instead of the same. This time, I think, it will be easier. This time, I won't have to worry about whether I'm any good. This time, I just have to find a fixative that works.
I had hoped to write. I had hoped, that, one day, it would just hit me, that urge to write, that not being able to live without writing. It hasn't. It is disappointing to find that I am only a reader of books. No creative drive that hits me, ever hits hard enough. Every way seems equally open. Nice problem to have, I think, and I say. But it isn't. I wonder if I've been fooled--by what writers say about writing, by what artists say about making. I've always had a bit more fellow-feeling for the ones who did it for the money. It's probably natural contrariness, but it does seem irritating, this quest for purity in art, and seriousness in literature. The robbing of practicality detracts also from the pleasure. There should be more transitory, and repeated pleasure in art, like the pleasure in life drawing, from sketching, and curving, and following caressingly, and shading--the gloriousness of the curls erased into being, and then tossing it for the next view, the next movement. Which all sounds rather decadent and delicious, until you go home and having nothing to show for it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Ekhem" and Frequently Headless Snow White

We have a little Snow White doll that my sister-in-law gave us, who plays "let me call you sweetheart" when you twist a key in her back. She started out new and pristine (see left), but she's been so well loved, especially by James, that her head, which originally bobbed slowly from side to side, now twists all the way around, and easily comes off, despite numerous supergluings. (Isabel, with furrowed brow, was frantically snapping her finger up and down this morning, and when I looked to see why, one of the doll's curls was stuck in a small snag in her fingernail, and the doll's head was bouncing up and down at her side quite cheerfully. Isabel had been carrying the head around by the hair this afternoon, like a little totem.) Her springily curled hair is permanently tangled, and wraps around her neck, and her shoe buttons have come undone. Her face is smudged below the nose, so you can't see her mouth anymore. It's the best thing that could happen to a doll--well, almost the best thing, like the Velveteen Rabbit.

James loves the music, but he can't yet twist the key. He signs "doll", and hands her to me when he wants the music. I said to him today, "say 'help me'", while signing the same. He dutifully signed "help me", and vocalized, "ekhem". I was so excited! He was happy, too. I like James' sounds.