Jumping back & forth across the line

Jumping back & forth across the line.

I don’t know where to start.

For the most part, blogging is just bullshit, right? Everyone blogs, & the few who don’t know scads who do. If you’re writing online & you aren’t Sarah Vowell or Dan Savage, then who gives a damn, right?

I found a new one. I kinda think Joel Runyon is crazy… but I’ve known since childhood that the line between crazy & genius is thin, & it’s often crossed & recrossed like the centre line in a game of hopscotch.

The latest post on Runyon’s Impossible blog is jaw-dropping. Pencils of Promise is inspiring, ambitious &, on its face, imbued with a woefully rare realistic idealism.

Pencils of Promise started when their founder Adam was backpacking through India and asked a small child who was begging, ”What do you want most in the world?”

“A Pencil”, the child answered.

I am awash in pencils, mechanical & traditional. And pens. Markers, brushes & ink, & paper. I even have a dozen or so hand-made je ne sais quoi styluses (reed? bamboo? cannae remember), created in about 90 seconds by my co-grandparent & working artist Derek Martin, that I have yet to use b/c I’m afraid I’ll somehow screw it up. I’ll waste these materials &, worse, my time. Silly, no?

Why can’t I get anything significant effing done? The simplest answer, based on the paralysing effect of a blank sheet of paper, is: I seem pathologically risk-averse.

So, it isn’t PoP’s selflessness that I find particularly moving (though, really, it’s more impressive than anything I’ve ever done), but how my incredibly self-centred mindset is applying the lesson. PoP’s first rule:

If we don’t love what we do, then we are doing something wrong.

The Art of the Unseen

The Art of the Unseen – Can I punch these guys?

I admitted in my last counselling session that I don’t enjoy drawing. I love conceiving it, & I love the finished product. I also love my time with pen-to-paper when I’m lost in the moment, knowing it looks good. That means I love it, right?

Except I rarely think it looks good. There’s a psychological pain in this.

And there’s a simple answer here, too: do something else.


Giving up isn’t the solution, at least for me, at least for this. I’m working on it. There is just… something… I’m missing. A way to approach drawing, a way to approach the physical expression of creativity. B/c, conversely, writing is pure joy–much like the pre-drawing concept stage.

I’m determined to figure this out. This, I’ve decided, is not impossible.


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