Thursday, March 16, 2006


digitally altered photo - S. Auberle


Taking advantage of recent snows, there are prescribed fires
burning around the mountains this week, to minimize the danger
of later forest fires.

I'm in a slash and burn mood, myself--of my words, of
past writings. Some days I look at old work and I'm pleased.
Other days--today for example--I'm appalled. WHAT was I
thinking? This is junk! Only one thing to do--get rid of it. Every last
piece, start over fresh. A clean slate--(I usually manage to talk myself
out of it, but one of these times...)

This presents another problem. Words are not cooperating today,
haven't been for some time now. Instead of tangoing brightly
across the page, they slump in corners--weary, insolent, defiant.
Don't even think of getting us to move, they growl.

I try to use a metaphor--after a long productive spell, the well is dry.
Needs time to fill again, recharge. And what, I ask myself, am I
supposed to do in the meantime?

Two things sometimes work: I turn to my art--image making--at it's
most simplistic level, drawing a single pear, for instance. Over and over.
Nothing more complicated than that. Or I try stream-of-consciousness
writing, which can produce some pretty weird stuff, making me feel
more frustrated than ever. To be perfectly honest, I'm getting a bit
tired of this artistic roller coaster. I know I'm not alone in this, artists
have always lived in the country of peaks and valleys. Some cope with it,
easily or not. Others turn to alcohol and drugs and various other self-
destructing habits. There must be a better way. Any comments from
other writers, artists, poets out there? What works for you in dry spells?

Next life I'm going to be an engineer like my level, left-brained, steady
mate. Only problem is, like him, I'll probably end up living with an artist,
which is almost as difficult, though never dull, depending on your viewpoint...

- mimi


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