I used one of my Free Days this week. Thursday night, the 24th, after having worked a full 10+ hour shift at the day job, knowing I had a four-day weekend ahead of me (Friday – Monday), I decided to relax for the night and read instead.
It filled me with a great deal of angst. Even as midnight approached, I fought the urge to break open the Moleskine and write something.
Day 21 was my first attempt at non-fiction. Here’s a sample:
Let that sink in a moment. You’ve probably got a preconceived notion that looks a lot like mine: a ’72 with curves over the front tires, long and sleek, a fast as hell work of art.
Day 22 I thought of old gods and their ghosts.
Day 23 I explored maps.
Day 25 was inspired by a light bulb popping in my bathroom.
I’ve been told about studies suggesting the mind works differently when writing by hand. I haven’t seen those studies yet, but I’m interested. I think it’s true. I’ve noticed a lot of my pieces have themes running through them, as though they’re somehow part of a larger thing. They’re not meant to be, except in that they’re all part of the larger thing called my body of work.
The physical act of handwriting, the paper and the ink, focus me in ways the computer does not. I’m not just thinking about the stories every day, I’m thinking about my overall life arc, the paths I’ve taken and the paths before me, the choices I have yet to make, the ways and means by which I can make writing (and by extension, photography) not just a part of my life, but make them my life. The idea isn’t to abandon the Day Job, but to make such a thing unnecessary and superfluous.
I’ve also become very conscious of the fact that, overall, the collection of these InkStains stories is, in fact, a piece of art in itself, and therefore the stories are part of a larger thing. I do not yet know the form that larger thing may take. I’m beginning to have ideas.
Also, something else I’ve noticed: the ink is taking over my life. I live and breathe ink now. I bleed ink. I am ink. I gave a speech this morning about ink, the importance of ink, how ink is one of the three essential elements (light/shadow, music, and ink), how ink is your means of achieving the three divine tenants (clear, concise, and simple). I lent my pen to a woman at the post office and the pen impressed her. Ink is a powerful thing, and becoming more and more powerful in my own life. It’s always been there, in some way. But I’m feeling the difference between the ink after a thing has been typed and the ink you lay down with your own hand.
I like ink.