Muses Stirring in the Night

By now, readers may be weary of seeing this . . .

By now, readers may be weary of seeing this . . .

After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love, and I was sure this was a very good story although I would not know truly how good until I read it over the next day.

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

My work on the above still life is slowing considerably, as I try to decide how to finish it.  Last night I attended a Salon which is a monthly “meeting of the minds”–a group I enjoy very much.  When I got home it was rather late and though I worked more in the shadows of this watercolor and did a little detailing, for the most part I stared at it, took a picture and posted it into a draft and went to bed.  Now, in the midst of the first day of final exams for my high school, I am looking at it some more, and attempting to put a few thoughts on the page . . .

As we draw closer to Christmas, I am filled with comingled emotions of sad and happy.  Many sad memories from my past linger over the Christmas holidays, but at the same time, students have a way of filling the atmosphere with good will.  I’ve received a number of surprise gifts and treats this week that always lift my spirits.  But today, I found in my faculty mailbox a gratitude/tribute letter from a student of philosophy from last year.  It made me cry. I could not stop, had to find a private place and just let it flow.  I’m always blindsided when a student writes this kind of a beautiful, loving letter of appreciation for the difference I made in the classroom in this one’s private life and outlook.  I never know about these matters, unless someone tells me, or writes me.  This letter is now taped into my Journal so I can return to it as often as I need, and I will probably need to do just that over the holidays.  My gratitude now is boundless.

On a parallel note, college student have been pouring into my classroom during lunch and after school for several days now, overflowing with their semester adventures and stories.  I can never get enough, when they tell me what they’re reading now, what kind of art they’re creating, what they’re thinking.  I never want them to leave, the moment is so sacred. A couple of days ago, I didn’t leave school till 4:45 (my last class finishes at 12:20), when the last college student left.

My students find my Harvard fetish amusing.  Today when I entered the classroom, I found this suspended above my chalkboard:

O.K., returning to my painting and the Hemingway quote above:  I know exactly the emotion he described, because when I close in on the finish of a painting, I have those conflicting sentiments of satisfaction for the accomplishment along with melancholy over wondering what to do next.  That is precisely why I used to keep several watercolors in progress at the same time, so I was never at a loss of what to do next when a painting was finished.  When I get home today, I plan to go back to the bins to see what I have started and not finished.  No doubt there are plenty of pieces abandoned from recent months/years.  If not, then I will begin anew before I retire to bed, so that I can be certain that I won’t be caught with those post-creation blues once the still life above is finished and signed.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am never really alone.

Tags: , ,

6 Responses to “Muses Stirring in the Night”

  1. Playamart - Zeebra Designs Says:

    tears are the escape valve of the heart… sometimes one needs a catharsis like unexpected tears.. sometimes they give us a rat-tat-tat on the back and make us look inward.. “where DID those tars come from?” ten years after my mother died, i had had a wonderful day, stopped by the cemetary, and there was mother’s lifelong friend and doctor.. (his mother was buried there as well).. i saw him drive up to the cemetary, and i burst out crying and couldn’t stop.. for half an hour at least i wept – i drove away without ever speaking to him – i couldn’t…

    it made me realize that i had swallowed a lot of grief and had never purged it…

    hang tight to the moments that bring you joy, and let those old wounds heal… may your holidays go well, and your new year be the best yet.



    • davidtripp Says:

      What a tonic those words were, thank you. I still don’t know how to let the old wounds heal, but I am letting the love and affirmation into my life at long last. What is “siempre”? Is that Spanish? Portuguese? It is similar to Latin for “always”. Just wondering.


  2. Xraypics Says:

    Tears of joy and gratitude, mate. What a beautiful story, and a well deserved letter that makes all the difference in life. Enjoy the moment and let it enlighten the days of rest coming up – the glow of that moment. Tony


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you, Tony. My students keep finding ways into my heart, and that is a great feeling. I’m glad the vacation has finally arrived. On the third day, I’m doing all the things I’ve wanted quality time to do, and wonder if this is how it feels to be retired! I hope things are working well for you and that you are doing exactly as you choose. Please keep me posted.


  3. Deanna Tennent Masterson Says:

    Your tribute letter is rather like what your blog posts are to me. Sharing personal emotions as well as your art is courageous & personal. I relate to your feelings, but cannot express things in the wonderful way you tell them.

    Absolutely I am not weary of seeing your wonderful painting emerge!


    • davidtripp Says:

      Wow, thank you for saying that! My students have moved me to tears more than I can count in the past week alone. I guess I’m getting older, because I used to be able to control these kinds of emotions better. I really appreciate the kind words you give to my writing and art–they never rise to the level that I want them to, but if others are touched, then I’m deeply grateful. I receive much joy in the act of writing and painting, but what an added bonus, every time I realize that someone else has received something positive from the effort. Thank you for making my day.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: