The Fatigue Factor


Before my friends pulled away in the boat, I had stretched five sheets of watercolor paper and laid them out in the sun to dry. I set to work immediately on two compositions as I looked southward toward the horizon. I found the cloudy skies intriguing and worked carefully on them with an assortment of brushes, Q-tips and a misting bottle. Once I got to the land textures, however,   I found it tougher sledding, and began to crumple under the weight of a couple of factors – high temperatures and humidity from all the recent rainfall, along with yesterday’s 8-hour drive thanks to Texas I-35 from Temple to Salado which is always choked by construction (even on Sunday) and allowed me to crawl in bumper-to – bumper-to traffic for 90 of those minutes. They call that progress.

At this point it seems best not to fight fatigue. Finding a cool breeze between the buildings, I’ve decided to cozy up with a volume of Emerson essays I brought with me.
Last summer when I was here, a swallow was sitting on a nest of five eggs. She’s back this year, with babies! Every time I walk near, they stretch their little necks in my direction to get fed.
Taking a break from reading and painting, I strolled the length of the island, refreshing my senses and memories from a year ago.
Working on five different compositions on this first day has worn me out. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll finish all these, or start new ones – glad I don’t have to decide that one tonight.

Emerson has provided delicious company throughout this quiet, idyllic day. I read for the first time his essay “Society and Solitude”. I loved his observation that the creative individual, when collaborating with others, becomes a “fraction”. Tonight I’m turning to his “Essays: First Series” to read his work titled “Art”.

I plan to retire when it gets dark, just as I did last year. I’m already tired to the bone.

Thanks for reading.

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