Reaching for that Point of Support

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He would think of it later, he thought; one moves step by step and one must keep moving. For the moment, with an unnatural clarity, with a brutal simplification that made it almost easy, his consciousness contained nothing but one thought: It must not stop me. The sentence hung alone, with no past and no future. He did not think of what it was that must not stop him, or why this sentence was such a crucial absolute. It held him and he obeyed. He went step by step. He completed his schedule of appointments, as scheduled.

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

The new week opened with a sprint for me this morning. I enjoyed quiet and rest for most of December and January, because I knew February’s brutal calendar. Tomorrow afternoon will begin the first of a two-day watercolor class I’ll teach at Show Me the Monet Gallery in Arlington, Texas. For $115 I’ll teach new students to paint a Texas longhorn. We’ll meet 2-5 Tuesday and again Saturday at the same time. If any of you are interested, please contact me at 817-821-8702, or the gallery at 817-313-6327.

On Thursday I will give my public presentation on “Memories from a Small Town” at C C Young Senior Living in Dallas during the Meet the Artist event at 3:30. My one-man-show of 33 watercolors now hangs there and will remain for the rest of this month. Meanwhile, I have finished a pair of commissions (pictured above) and have two more in the hopper that need to be completed.

I laugh at how often days of my life unwind like a bad novel. Waking this morning, early, I knew all the errands that had to be run today. But my dryer not functioning was not a part of my schedule. So, I smile now as I sit at a coin laundry, drying a load of wash, using my smart phone to tap out this blog . . . I anticipate that come nightfall I will be able to slow down the pace. Until tomorrow.

Reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand a moment ago, I was arrested by the musings of a woman who struggled to find “her only point of reassurance in a world dissolving around her.” I closed the book and thought of that sinking feeling one gets when wondering what really matters in life, paticularly when circumstances in our current society appear so disjointed and threatening. The text reminded me of Thoreau’s point d’appui that he discussed in Walden:

Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe . . . till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality, and say, This is, and no mistake; and then begin, having a point d’appui, below freshet and frost and fire, a place where you might found a wall or a state, or set a lamp-post safely . . . 

Point d’appui is translated “point of support.” Thoeau’s quest for a firm foundation to life has profoundly haunted my life for over thirty years now. While relaxing in the quiet residence of an old country store yesterday I pondered my own point d’appui and found satisfaction in the reality that I am alive. This life alone is a gift. I find happiness in the knowledge that I can create. Create art. And create meeting for my life. I recall years ago reading Nietzsche’s meditations when he concluded that his life had no meaning, contained no inherent meaning. He concluded that he could create meaning for his own life, since it was not given. Following that notion, I continue my own quest to carve out a niche in this life where I can be myself and pursue actions I believe are important.

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Yesterday’s Refuge before Today’s Storm

The clothes are ready to come out of the dryer, and I am ready to chase today’s appointments. So until later . . .

Thanks for reading.

Shultz reduced

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

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