Friday, October 05, 2012

Back In The Saddle On Datil

October 5, 2012

Went home for lunch and ground out another study of a New Mexico landscape.


Too yellow, too mushroom cloudish, but getting there. Will try and do the real one this weekend.

Meanwhile, sometimes I can't believe how uneducated I am. I aspire to knowing all about story telling and just last weekend I found out about La Jettee, which is a French short film from 1962 which is the basis for Terry Gilliam's "Twelve Monkees" among many time travel movies, including the current "Looper," I believe. Anyway, sometimes it's embarrassing that I knew none of this. I often blame my upbringing in Kingman but that's just a joke (my upbringing AND blaming anything on a town).

My mother saved stuff. Recently I found this clipping in a box of her things.


I do remember it was quite hard to memorize the dang thing, but at least I was staying even with my class. Not so, in other arenas, like art, magazine production, narrative theory, even word balloon execution. I guess you could file this under:

The Erratic Education of Bob Boze Bell

I read with interest a New York Times Magazine feature on Inspiration and how various artists, singers and writers get their muse on.

The interviewee who inspired me most is the writer Junot Diaz who relates how much he hates to write, how hard it is and how he somehow, some way, gets past all that. He relates how his critical self is so harsh: "My thing is, I'm just way too harsh. It's an enormous impediment, and that's just the truth of it. It doesn't make me any better, make me any worse, it certainly isn't more valorous. I have a character defect, man.

"You know, I force it, and by forcing it, I lose everything that's interesting about my work. . .what's interesting in my work is the way that when I am playing, and all my faculties are firing, but only just to play. Not to get a date, not because I want someone to hug me, not because I want anyone to read it. Just to play."

This is so impactful to me, and, yes, educational. First of all, it's a breath of fresh air to realize someone on his level suffers even more than I do (the moral I get out of this is I need to suffer MORE!). But the real nugget of knowledge is that anything good really only happens when he is playing. That is profound. When I was on my quest to do 10,000 bad drawings, I was sometimes stunned at what I could produce when it didn't matter, there was nothing riding on it, I wasn't looking for a date or a hug. Here is an example from that quest:

Talk about loosey goosey. Talk about fun. I have a hard time even remembering how I did this (so, on some level I'm not sure what I learned).

And, so, the erratic education continues. I keep trying, keep pushing it out there, trying to have fun, stay loose, keep learning. Who knows, I may be dangerous to someone other than myself when I hit 70.

"The thing is, you try your best, and what else you got?"

—Junot Diaz, the author of "This Is How You Lose Her".