Sunday, May 3, 2009

Napkin Lists

I end up writing on whatever I have with me. I also draw on napkins to explain things to people at the table... ask my friends and family.

This shows the back of my life drawing ticket. I ended up with six or seven painting ideas on it (that walk mentioned in this previous post). Now that I've posted the one I didn't want to hint at before it was done (the moon and birds) I can show this. This is the earliest germ of paintings I've ever shared here on-line - I'm curious to see what happens, if anything.

>>>> Appendix de Grenouille <<<<

Etienne should be painting now. But it is hot, and he and his cheri played in the dirt of the gardens for several hours this morning, and he is tired and feeling relaxed and happy. This leads to a healthful langour. This is a time when you should let the flies come to you, instead of hopping about trying to go to them.

His cheri, his companion in the garden and the one who wisely keeps him engaged there, is a lady of great sensitivity and wisdom, and she feels things deeply. The passing of the pansies (oui, I am among them in this illustration) will be too quick this year, because of the sudden onset of the heat, and she mourns this. It is one petit example of the passion and power of her soul, and part of what makes her an eternal fascination to Etienne. He is prone to still his heart and feel nothing, because it is easier, makes less trouble... but this makes him feel dead. And so the heart of his cheri is his most precious possession, and he is happier when she holds his, because she knows better what to do with it. To him, hers seems to move like a bird of paradise, with deeply colored plumage and long graceful sweeps of feathers and plumes, everything made real and vital and felt fully. She does not let go of things in fear or to keep life neat and simple. He does. Or he would, but she is there to hang on, and he cannot let go either if he wants to stay beside her... and there is nothing he wants more, so his courage is pressed into action, and he must feel what he must feel. This is difficult for him, but he much prefers it and knows he would not do it alone.

She makes him tres rich - while Etienne alone would be impoverished by his fears of life, of feelings, of loss, of change, of risk.

Moi, of course, I do not need this sort of help. I feel everything as it comes, preserve it for several slow amphibian beats, and then it rolls off my rounded back. My heart is very small, but it works well, merci. I never installed an off switch like Etienne says he has on his. So I am independent and resolute without a lady frog to help. Etienne says I do not know what I am missing, but, voila, my blood is cold while his is hot. It cannot be the same for grenouilles. And while I also mourn the passing of the pansies, it is mostly because they attract the most delicious, tres petit bees.


Unknown said...

Not that I am drawing anything, but I write notes on pretty much anything that's available. Lisa, told me that you also use Moleskins, I do, too. I have one for notes and one with graph paper for mathy idea's

L'Adelaide said...

now that i have regained my composure after reading grenouille's perspective on steve...your napkin, when i read it, i thought this is/could be poetry ,,with just a little you know? my ideas seem to stay in my head until the paint starts to flow, not before...maybe i need to try another lists are for the groceries usually. so boring.

it's beautiful how you write about your love and companionship you share with your dearest...treasure it as you do and you will always be happy.

lisahgolden said...

That truly was a beautiful way to express how Steve and his dearest work together to make a life of beauty and feeling.

I love the peek into how the artist's mind works. I never peek at MathMan's notes, but I'm very happy when he shares with me what's in his moleskins.

Steve Emery said...

MathMan - my moleskines remain largely empty because I'm a moleskine snob, thinking that only drawings belong in them... I need to loosen up! And I've long thought those graph paper ones might be a cool. I can see how they would be perfect for mathy ideas.

Linda - That frog does seem to have a way with my words. And I sure do love that lady I married nearly 30 years ago... And most of my lists are also pretty boring - this one was gleeful, and that makes the difference, for me.

Lisa - Yep, that frog is something else. I can't believe he was mute for over twenty years - seems so unlikely... I may offer more peeking into the pre-painting head of me. It's an amusing place. It's a kid's place.

Genie Sea said...

An absolutely enchanting love story! Even more so because it's real :)