Eyes of the Willow


Hmm… this didn’t quite do what I wanted…

Feeling uninspired and in need of some new scenery, I took a hike a couple of weeks ago and went up into the mountains.  I think the change of scenery was just what I needed.  I’m a suburbanite by nature (which is a contradiction in terms if ever there was one), so seeing some genuine leafy goodness provided just the shock to my complacent system that kickstarted those creative juices.

One of the images I was most struck by was a particular pale white tree.  I’m pretty sure it was a willow, but you could tell me it was poison oak and I wouldn’t have the authority to contradict you.  Anyway, wherever a branch had been stripped away, there remained on the trunk dark scarring that looked a lot like a cartoon eye.  Trees and eyes are a good, creepy combination.

So I drew a picture.  It wasn’t creepy.  It’s barely discernable that there’s a tree in it at all.  Still, it’s a thing I drew, and I haven’t been doing enough of that, so… progress?

A Man of Ambition

I consider myself to be someone with a lot of good ideas and a stunted work ethic.

Wait. That’s not quite fair.

I work very hard at a lot of different things. I have a pretty demanding job, which regularly requires me to work more than the forty hours I get paid for. I have a lot of responsibilities in my community. I put a lot of work into maintaining and keeping my house.

All of these responsibilities keep me from the thing I really want to do with my life.

I am that guy who, if you ask him at a party about the book he wants to write, will hold you captive for hours. I doodle and draw so much because I have so many ideas for pictures and scenes and stories that I have to get them out there somehow. I just… spend so much time wrapped up in what I’m supposed to do that I can’t dedicate the time I need to what I want to do.

All I want to do is create.

Unfortunately, the time I have to create is also time that I need to use on sweeping the floor, cleaning the bathroom, or mowing the lawn. I have to maintain social connections, spend time with friends, help my neighbors move. Even eating and grooming take a lot of time out of my schedule – a good-looking beard takes a bit of work to maintain.

This, I think, is why I like cooking so much. There’s an act of creation – the assembling of disparate ingredients into a unified whole – that also satisfies a basic biological function. Food is life, and cooking is creation; therefore, cooking is creating life.

Besides, how can any day where you make ice cream be considered a failure?