Thursday, August 9, 2007

Painting & Pondering

Crazy as the past deadline-driven 24 hours have been, I feel energized and alert.

I even awoke at 4:00 a.m. How's that for bizarre?

One of my current non-writing projects involves a certain little guy's fourth birthday party this weekend. Aside from planning dinosaur-themed festivities (please send ideas!), I'm finally upgrading the first floor bathroom so guests don't vomit when they see it. (The room was "dormitory chic", if you get my drift.)

(FYI, I'm the official "contractor" of our household--the big gray toolbox is my pride and joy. I bought a basin wrench at Lowe's earlier this week and literally danced around in the humongous aisles. My son loved it. Onlookers seemed to be embarrassed by my behavior. Big deal. Get over yourself. Have a little fun.)

Late last night (after researching and writing until my eyes were blurry and red), I took up my brush and began to paint. It's a painfully boring act, so my mind was wandering to and fro, making connections and experiencing mini-epiphanies, perhaps helped along by the fumes.

It was as I was covering the bathroom's urine-colored hue with a lovely shade of steel blue that it occurred to me that painting is a bit like writing because the job is never really "perfect" or "done". There are always stray splatters, those corners that didn't get enough coverage, spots that don't look quite right...

It makes you wonder: Is one "coat" (aka, edit) enough? Perhaps two would be better? Or three? Did I hear someone say, "Four?"

When does it end?

The truth is, I'm not sure the rewriting and editing process DOES have an ending. Eventually, you just have to say, "I'm as finished as I can be right now." But in your heart, you wonder what you could do to make your ideas come alive just a little bit more.

For me, writing is a journey, not a destination. Pieces I've written in the past now seem unfinished to me, as if they are organic beings.

It reminds me of a favorite quote: "You can never step in the same river twice." (Who said that? I'd better look it up...)

Yesterday, I decided to end my bathroom painting adventure with two coats and some touch-ups. The product is far from ideal and, truth be told, is rather shoddy in places.

But at least people won't regurgitate when they are forced to use the loo after imbibing dinosaur-themed beverages.

Hopefully, my writings (woefully incomplete as they are at times) won't cause any gastrointestinal distress for readers, either.


Hoodie said...

"My favorite thing about rivers is, you can't step in the same river twice..."


The Quoibler said...


Thanks! :)


Jennifer said...

My son had a dino b-day last year! We did a dino dig for fossils and bought everyone dino water squirters but it's sort of late to tell you stuff now.

It was fun though. Hope it goes well!