Scribbling in my notebook, making a list of things I want to do. Been at it since dawn. I feel energised somehow, so full of projects waiting to be realised. Crossing my fingers that I’ll get some of these started by the time my birthday comes around.
I’ve put some jazz on, and I’m going to work all day on these ideas. I know most of them are terrible, and there’s one or two that I’m actually nervous about, but anything can happen, yes? I’m not sure if you can feel it, too, but this—our friendship, our partnership—is the reason why I’m always on my toes these days. I think writing alongside you has rekindled my enthusiasm.
I am still trying to find a copy of Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life. In the meantime, here is another excerpt from Anne Truitt’s Daybook:
The most demanding part of living a lifetime as an artist is the strict discipline of forcing oneself to work steadfastly along the nerve of one’s own most intimate sensitivity. As in any profession, facility develops. In most this is a decided advantage, and so it is with the actual facture of art; I notice with interest that my hand is more deft, lighter, as I grow more experienced. But I find that I have to resist the temptation to fall into the same kind of pleasurable relaxation I once enjoyed with clay. I have in some subtle sense to fight my hand if I am to grow along the reaches of my nerve.
And here I find myself faced with two fears. The first is simply that of the unknown—I cannot know where my nerve is going until I venture along it. The second is less sharp but more permeating: the logical knowledge that the nerve of any given individual is as limited as the individual. Under its own law, it may just naturally run out. If this happens, the artists does best, it seems to me, to fall silent. But by now the habit of work is so ingrained in me that I do not know if I could bear that silence.
Good morning, M.