Re-Stoking the Fires

high ridge

I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day. But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

The first day of the New Year is a sluggish one for me, as I’m still shaking off this nagging respiratory infection that saps my energy. I’m spending more time in front of the fireplace under a blanket, watching TV when I would rather be reading, writing or painting. But I just don’t seem to have the energy or drive to be creative.  The Steve Jobs biography is still exciting to me, yet fails to fire my own spark plug of creativity. I did pull out an old watercolor abandoned from a year or two ago, and I worked on it for over an hour, but I never felt much of a rush or thrill, which is so unlike me when I’m painting. Nevertheless, I’ve posted a photo of its progress above.

I wish all of you the happiest of new years, as I myself am anticipating many new adventures. Meanwhile, I’m just going to keep taking it easy until my strength returns.

Thank you always for reading . . .

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5 Responses to “Re-Stoking the Fires”

  1. alethakuschan Says:

    I love that passage from Movable Feast. It’s one that I turn to when I think about creative decision making. I also love that watercolor. It’s so beautiful. Sorry to hear that you’re feeling under the weather, but there’s probably no better place to relax and rest than by a fire. Hope you get your energy back quickly, but until then do enjoy your fireside chair — how wonderful that Hemingway has good advice regarding that as well!


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you so much. I have indeed enjoyed the down time next to the fire. And I’m delighted that you have also found inspiration in the Hemingway passage. I read this book a couple of years ago, and keep returning to portions I’ve marked, particularly this one. Much of what he said about writing fits my philosophy of painting. Thank you again.


  2. memadtwo Says:

    that watercolor is magic…


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