He went to his library. He sat reading for a few hours. Then he stopped. He stopped short, without reason, in the middle of an important sentence. He had no desire to read on. He had no desire ever to make another effort.
Nothing had happened to him—a happening is a positive reality, and no reality could ever make him helpless; this was some enormous negative—as if everything had been wiped out, leaving a senseless emptiness, faintly indecent because it seemed so ordinary, so unexciting, like murder wearing a homey smile.
Nothing was gone—except desire; no, more than that—the root, the desire to desire. He thought that a man who loses his eyes still retains the concept of sight; but he had heard of a ghastlier blindness—if the brain centers controlling vision are destroyed, one loses even the memory of visual perception.
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
I’m surprised that I’m finding time to fiddle with my watercolor sketching, being absorbed with a novel I began reading at the end of last week. I am about 500 pages into it and cannot seem to put it down, yet somehow I’m still preparing my classes, grading, writing in my journal and experimenting daily with watercolor in my studio. I don’t know how this is all happening, but I’ll accept that gift with gratitude.
This is a small watercolor that I began while sitting in a festival booth a few weekends ago. I forgot about it until last evening and decided to push onward with it. I’ve just now peeled away all the masquing, so there are quite a few raw areas that now have to be doctored and detailed. It looks as though the painting will have to be abandoned on my drafting table for the rest of this night, however.
I am moved by the words I’ve posted above from the novel I’m reading. My Advanced Placement Art History students challenged me last week to read it because of our recent studies in twentieth-century architecture. I’m finding to book to be very engaging, and am really enjoying what I read of the characters. I shuddered this morning, before dawn, as I read this text. The words are spoken of a successful New York City publishing mogul who at age fifty-one comes to this flat level of existence. I would hate to come to that state of mind. Currently I find myself wishing I could split into two or three persons so I could have time to pursue every challenge that interests me currently. I cannot understand a sentiment of emptiness, of vacuity. I have to leave soon for a social function this evening, and knowing that when I return I will be crowded to finish grading before bedtime, and probably have zero time remaining for reading this novel or working on this watercolor already frustrates me. I cannot understand one’s being bored, or feeling that life has reached a stage of non-purpose. To the contrary, my life has always had more details than I could ever chase down and solve.
Thanks for reading.
I paint in order to remember.
I journal when I feel alone.
I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.