March 19, 2016
Through the study window it appears to be a rainy dawn.
Into my head came Becky Webb, from the 8th grade, a big blond girl, a prototype of girls more numerous today, who have been so encouraged and entitled by their parents there’s never in them a wisp of modesty or doubt. We were up for the same reading at the Thanksgiving assembly, something about the Pilgrims, and she was chosen over me. I couldn’t figure that out, because I was better. Nevertheless, I decided to be big about it and, noting that she misread the word “sow”– to plant seed– as “sow– a female pig, I pointed it out, to save her embarrassment. She gave me a very knowing look and said, “You’re just saying that so I’ll get it wrong, because you’re mad that I got the reading.” She went on stage and said “and they female pigged the seed into the furrows,” and so far as I know she thinks she did it right to this day, and that she cunningly caught me trying to subvert her triumph. I tell my students that things pop into your head because they’re unresolved and need to be dealt with– and that this is the fount of art. So, in Becky popped. Have I dealt with it? Actually, it’s emblematic of my life since, isn’t it? My watching the unfolding of a lesser thing than I would have done, unable to speak, unable to put my cause, recognizing that quality had not been the issue.
Truly excellent day painting, breakthroughs, successes.