Willing to write

The longer between posts on this blog, the harder it is to get started again.

I collect open browser tabs full of interesting things to point to, then close them. I start lists, make notes, and wander off before doing more than the preparatory work. I stop before I really start.

So today, a rainy Sunday afternoon, I’m sitting here with my computer. Just a plain white box to type in, edged with the photo of sun streaming through a stand of trees in early in the morning which is one of my desktop pictures.

This past week, where even to start?

The news broke of the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, and I cried.

I watched the President’s eulogy for Clementa Pinckney on Friday, and cried.

It was a heavy and full heart week.

One that I want to be writing about here, even when I am not sure what to say. Perhaps particularly when I am not sure what to say, because I often write to think.

I thought I’d be a very old woman before I’d see our marriage legally recognized across the country. That may sound like a long time to wait. (Chief Justice Roberts doesn’t seem to think so, but then I am not generally interested in folks who have never had their rights in doubt talk how those of us who have are going about things the wrong way.)

I think: people have been waiting as long and longer. And had it much harder than I ever have.

I think: people need to commit an act of civil disobedience when patience has been stretched beyond imagination.

I think: not saying anything when something should be said really isn’t an option.

Things like: the very least, the absolute very least we white people can do is to tell the truth about what is happening. What happened at the church is Charleston was terrorism. Racism is a problem today. We can do more.

Do you know how many black churches burned this week? Six.

May I have more patience where I need to exercise it, and even less when it comes to tolerating what should not be tolerated.

My analog year

It was a little odd for me to not be recording some of my biggest projects in 2014 on the web.

analog stack

I made a few references to Sketchbook Skool on twitter, but didn’t blog about it. Instead, I put my energy into making things with my hands that didn’t later show up online. No special project websites, no flickr album, just three full sketchbooks. Each and every page, full, even the inside covers. The advice to keep drawing and move on — no ripping out pages — really helped.

I took all three semesters (Beginning, Seeing, and Storytelling) at SBS because once I got started, I didn’t want to stop. I have been telling myself for years that I wanted to draw and then doing absolutely nothing about it. Until Danny Gregory and crew were around week after week to nudge and encourage me, I was stuck. Stuck in believing I couldn’t draw, that I couldn’t learn to draw, and that my monkey would never shut up enough for me to try.

Going from zero drawing to filling 372 pages feels like a big deal. Committing to ongoing creativity is a big deal. It feels great.

The other book I filled in 2014 was my logbook; it was the second year in a row I stole Austin Kleon’s idea.

I used up several pens, discovered watercolor, played around with permanent and water soluble pens, and developed a crush on watercolor pencils. I took my sketchbooks out in public — years of carrying around cameras helped that feel less conspicuous; if you want the image, you’ll do what you need to in order to try and get it.

Lots of pages, not many posts in 2014. I am okay with that. This year, though, I’d like to see how I can manage both.