. . . remember that decayed wood is not old, but has just begun to be what it is.
Henry David Thoreau, Journal, March 19, 1842
Throughout my life, I have heard the laments of aging: the wry jokes as well as the moans. And in recent years I have noted the things I can no longer do effectively as I once did. But in recent months (and I hope this trend endures), my sentiments have flipped to the opposite side, and I have found delight in pleasures I could not appreciate when I was younger. I love to hear Thoreau write, in Aristotelian fashion, that as we age, sentiments emerge whose seeds have been in us all along. Existentialism urges you to “become what you are”, and Thoreau, a century earlier, already laid that principle down in his personal journal. Others have said the same throughout time. The presocratic philosopher Anaximander, in one of his fragments told of the end being already present in the beginning. T. S. Eliot wrote of the same. Aristotle said the ultimate purpose was contained in our infancy. Wordsworth wrote that the child is father to the man. I love that notion, and especially the reality that many of the sublime elements in our life experiences are not appreciated until we reach the later years.
Today, despite repeated interruptions and errands linked to the business side of art, I have worked in the studio as much as time would allow, experimenting with this Laguna Madre painting. I am probably done with the heavy foliage to the left of the Field Station, and am tinkering with the firewheels and sand in the foreground. The dock to the right and the horizon of the lagoon behind it are also requiring some close scrutiny. But I’m having fun, and that is what I enjoy most about watercoloring–the experimenting, the tinkering, and the slow emerging of a composition.
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.