Lucky Strike Watercolor in Progress
Sleeping Shih-tzus at my Feet
My word, what an evening this is shaping up to be! I had to take a late-afternoon nap, because my cat woke me throughout last night, craving attention. I returned to school from holiday today with one eye half-open, and tried very hard to navigate my students through Advanced Placement Art History (Romanesque architecture) and English IV (Shakespeare). Now I sit in my man cave with a stack of Philosophy Journals to finish reading and evaluating and the need to prepare them for a roundtable dialogue in the morning on Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.
At my feet are a pair of sleeping Shih-tzus. They ought to be named Yin and Yang, if you are able to tell that they slumber against each other, and one is blonde, the other dark grey. A cute, adorable pair they are. They have spent most of this weekend with me, sleeping at my feet as I study or pursue watercolor in my garage Man Cave.
I am finding it extremely difficult to settle into tonight’s work, though I know that (thanks to the late nap) I will have many hours of quality time to pursue what I must. And what I must do is finish these journals and dialogue, then get back to the Lucky Strike watercolor. But, as so often happens about one hour after rising from sleep, my mind takes off. I suffer like Moses, from the Saul Bellows novel Herzog, explaining his problem to his physician: “My thoughts are shooting out all over the place.” Currently, I cannot stop thinking about Shakespeare and this compulsion I have to create a collage of his portrait and his works, to write in my journal, to continue reading in my own Thoreau Journal as well as Walden, and alas, I just re-read T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” and have so much I want to think through and write about that text. And yes, I really REALLY want to return to painting tonight. Funny–as my mind frantically and restlessly darts down all these corridors, I have Yanni’s “Out of Silence” cassette playing on my Man Cave stereo. What a contrast! His music so lilting, so serene, so aglow, and here I am, wanting to do a dozen things at once. I laugh when I recall the scene from Amadeus when Mozart is trying on three different powdered wigs, and concludes that all of them are lovely, and “I wish I had three heads!” Sometimes, I wish there were three or four or six of me sitting at this drafting table, pursuing all these interests that consume me at once. I have been complimented from time to time by friends, students and associates who call me a “Renaissance Man.” I cannot really own that. I think of a Renaissance Man as multi-talented. As for myself, I am multi-interested to the point of feeling that I have attention deficit disorder, and perhaps would have been diagnosed with that as an elementary student, had there been such diagnosticians in the schools in my day.
O.K. I just realized that I have not even prepared dinner yet. I forgot (how pathetic is that?). Perhaps a good meal will settle me down, even me out, and I will get to pursue an evening of bliss in the man cave, with my pair of Shih-tzus, cat, my paintings, my books, my journals and all the good things that keep me company this evening.
Thanks for reading.