Posts Tagged ‘F. Scott Fitzgerald’

A Necessary Kick in the Pants from a Dutch Uncle

February 18, 2013
Putting the Final Touches on the Fishing Still LIfe

Putting the Final Touches on the Fishing Still LIfe

In spite of his own writing difficulties, Ernest played Dutch uncle to Fitzgerald, repeatedly urging him to get forward with Tender is the Night.  The only thing to do with a novel, said he, was to finish it.

Carlos Baker, Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story

Today, I decided enough is enough.  I’m tired of this sickness that has been draped all over me like a cheap suit for over a week now.  Today is President’s Day, no school.  And though I am still weak,  I am tired of the lethargy, the sleeping, the moping and the self-pity.  Reading this morning from the Hemingway biography gave me the necessary kick to get up and return to the cave, and finish this darned still life that I’ve been mooning over for far too long.  It is time to get on with the next endeavor.  This one is done.  The only thing to do with a painting is to finish it.

There was nothing left to do but work a little more on shading the lantern and signing my name.  After spending some morning time staring, painting, staring some more, painting some more (again, I felt like I was Willem de Kooning, who was laughed at for staring and contemplating more than actually painting), I finally decided I did all I could, and that it was time to move on to something else.

I am grateful for Dutch uncles as Hemingway was to Fitzgerald, and  Jackson Browne was to David Crosby, nudging him to complete The Delta (one of the most moving songs ever to come over me).  Nobody thinks twice about the work-in-progress, the Ph.D. all-but-dissertation or the season that almost was.  I find just as much joy as anyone in the process of creativity, but how much more I love looking at something finished, a fait accompli.  

So, thank you, Carlos Baker.  Your published word this morning became oracular to me, when I need it the most.

And thanks all of you who read me.

The Completed Painting

The Completed Painting