Thursday, April 20, 2017

Night Thoughts


The world is sleeping. A side effect of my husband traveling so much is the loosening of my grip upon time. My fingers are unlaced, detached. Reflexive clock watching has been replaced with distraction and sudden paranoid moments when I fear I've forgotten something immensely important. The days bleed into evening and I've lost track of their passing. Often I climb into bed after the boys do, exhaustion giving in to the call of soft sheets and a novel; but I'm also becoming rather familiar with this 3am discussion held beneath the blackened sky - wind and clouds and night murmurs.

My hair tangles about my shoulders as thunder stumbles across the heavens and the cat claws at the door behind me. I ignore him. Sitting on the top step of the back porch, I lean into the storm - huge and dark and somehow bigger than the one in my mind, dwarfing my fears and insecurities until they are the pebbles beneath the deluge. Washed clean of detritus and debris, the rain rinses away the clamor of the day. How is it that mere drops of water can be so deafening, so all-encompassing?

I'm painting now. More than I have in years. I agreed to fill in for a canceled slot in a local museum's line-up and then realized I was committing to nearly a new, completely finished painting every week. Sheer madness. Last night I dreamt I was painting trees that fell off the canvas and sprouted at my feet, their roots tangling about my legs until I couldn't move. I've done the shopping with paint in my hair, picked up the children with paint on my face. I smell of paint.

I miss writing. Like air. Like cheese. The night thoughts are scribbles in legal pads stacked beside my bed, waiting to be decoded, untangled into complete sentences with punctuation and capital letters. They whisper to me sometimes, echoes behind the music while my brush smears pigment into visions.

Just a few weeks now. Wiring and naming (seriously, naming a painting is a calamity of my dreams where it was born - a thing of feelings and emotions that is quite difficult to distil into a word or two) and stacking them on the landing outside of my bedroom until they will be driven to the gallery and strung up for all to see....and judge.

The storm has moved on now. I can see lightening etching new patterns over another sky, another life off in the distance. Perhaps God is laundering the world leaving night thoughts everywhere damp and shiny and clean.

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Addendum per Mary's comment. Painting vs writing...?









8 comments:

Robbie Grey said...

Ah,the meditation a righteous storms bring.glad to hear you're painting. Doing some renovations on the house and the pairing down of things. Sooner or later I'll be telling a story.

Geo. said...

The storm within and the storm above are seamless here --connection of energies, mind to tremendous operations of the night sky are beautifully described.

Mary Degli Esposti said...

Damp and shiny and clean. You miss writing & we miss your writing, so thanks for not confining this one to the shower. You write in evocative poem. You probably paint that way too.
Maybe you should copy some of those tangled night thoughts from yellow to black background here, verbatim. Perhaps we'd decode them differently...new community book :). It takes a village & all that.


.....and judge. <Try not to think about that one too much.

Chantel said...

Robbie - Storms are good for that, lol. Looking forward to your story.

Geo - Thank you again, sometimes it seems life itself is a storm.

Mary - For you, I will add some shots of several still-damp canvases and would be thrilled to hear your thoughts on my painting/writing styles. I will think on this "unedited" idea; somewhat terrifying, that is....

Mary Degli Esposti said...

My dentist has a wider, very similar painting as your top one in his office.
It mesmerized me when I first saw it. I still stand at times & try to embed myself into it a bit while I am waiting for an appt. I need to come back & view these again(I do all this at the library).

Mary Degli Esposti said...

The last one seems like a road not taken, but again, I'll be back...

Mary Degli Esposti said...

Having previously worked in medical I came to think of this as wet readings...The last is a wistful poem. All the different roads not taken.
The other 2, just beyond the trees is understanding, but it is always just beyond. Solemn.

Chantel said...

Mary - I often feel like I'm seeking something when I'm dreaming and then later when I'm painting. Perhaps understanding is a good way to phrase that. And the last one, it's actually half done and yet I fell in love with it so I stopped painting. Sometimes I wreck a piece by going too far. This one felt complete without me doing anything more. I love the word 'wistful.'