Hidden In The Shadows

The strangest things catch my eye sometimes.  Why is there a rectangle on this wall that is a slightly different color than the block around it?  I have no idea, and there is no evidence to give me a clue. It provided a nice, subtle composition, though, which pleases me.

I used to say that I came to Tucson for the weather and stayed for the mountains.  I love the mountains which surround this city.  There was a time when, if I felt down, all I had to do was raise my gaze a couple of degrees, and the Catalinas would raise my spirits. I still love the mountains, but they don’t seem to have the same restorative quality that they used to. Now it’s the little things, like noticing the image above, or looking out my window this morning to see this perfectly lit composition, and running out in my sock feet to take a photo.

Another thing that used to center me in times of struggle was my painting.  In many ways, the non-repeating organic pattern that I laid on canvas for 35 years was a mantra. I cheated on it with photography, eventually dumping painting altogether for my new love. Now, instead of creating compositions, I notice and record them.  It isn’t cathartic in the same way, and it doesn’t have that instinctively driven pattern/mantra to calm my monkey mind. I am not inclined towards traditional meditation, so I have in recent times gravitated towards the screen. Facebook, Netflix, and Diablo III became the blankets I used to dampen my inner turmoil.  None of those was healthy, despite a small portion of the Facebook content being useful, and some of the Netflix programming being worthwhile.  They sucked all the time and soul out of my life, so I cut them off, along with my internet at home.  Now I come to a coffee shop once a day, get my email, and sometimes make a post here.  At home I go to the local video store and rent stuff to watch once a week when they have 2 for 1 rentals.  I have a lot more time, so I’m cleaning up my living space, purging hoarded crap, rearranging, painting, and finally making it a place that I am comfortable entertaining in.  I’ve been collecting art from my friends over the past couple of years, so my small guest house looks like a gallery now.  It’s nice having all their creativity surrounding me.

I am a world class procrastinator.  Many of the things I do, I do to avoid doing other things that I probably should do.  I write here when I should be working on my novel.  Writing here isn’t without its benefits, and it sometimes informs my novel, but it as much a distraction as a discolored rectangle or some pretty shadows on a wall in my alley.  At some point I have to get to the matter at hand, whether it be writing my novel or cleaning my house.  I’m always glad when I do, but…. SQUIRREL!