Thoughts Scattered in the Winds

Trying to Get Some Thoughts to Fly in Formation

Trying to Get Some Thoughts to Fly in Formation

In a traditional school setting, intensity is dilluted by short and widely-separated class meetings, continuity is lost as everyone scatters to the winds at the end of each class period, and ideas dissipate before they ever fully develop.

Ted Orland, View from the Studio Door

Throughout my years, I have wrestled with this reality.  As a graduate student, when ideas moved me profoundly, I found myself frequently scrambling to assemble my scattered, fractured thoughts into some kind of order and save them in such a way that they would not disappear between class periods, or while sleeping at night.  I never found a “system” for organizing all that knowledge.  Years of teaching school since those days have only added to the mix.  Students stimulate me daily with new ideas, alternate vistas, novel perspectives, and every time the bell rings and they sail out the door, I find myself reaching for the journal and trying my best to record the snippets of thought as the next class files in with their new packages of words and ideas.

This evening, while working on a commission, I continually found myself stopping in the middle of a brushstroke, drawing out the journal and recording yet again.  It never ends.

Stream of consciousness
On a sleeping
Street of dreams

Like scattered leaves
Slowed in midfall
To the streams

Of fast
Running rivers
Of choice and chance
And time stops here 
on the delta
While they dance
While they dance

David Crosby, “The Delta”

I suppose I have recovered from my recent illness.  I’m thinking again.  Painting again.  And smiling again.  Maybe some of these things will assemble themselves into something sublime.  I can always hope  . . .

Thanks for reading.  Once this commission is completed, I’ll hopefully get some new paintings back online to share.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.


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6 Responses to “Thoughts Scattered in the Winds”

  1. lifeofawillow Says:

    This is a lovely post. I understand it well. Wishing you health.


  2. ann Says:

    I love all you posts but this one especially touched me because I concur with it so much. Take care.


  3. Don Says:

    David, do you prep your watercolor paper before starting a painting. Thanks Don Cook


    • davidtripp Says:

      Good afternoon, Don. I work on cold-pressed paper. If it is 300 lb., no prep is necessary. If it is 140 lb., I soak the paper and stretch it on a canvas stretcher, using a staple gun. That’s all I do to the paper. Thanks for asking.


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