Thursday, October 27, 2011

you will have to live with the pointless but powerful desire to create

as i was packing up to leave the lookout, a rather frail and thin fellow with a short, black beard spoke up from the bottom of the stairs. 'hi'. i told him the floor wet with mopping. he said, 'okay,' only he didn't go. he acted like we knew each other. who the hell?

i had planned to leave within the hour, felt impatient, yet invited him up. we stood waiting for the floor to dry. finally, i realized this the lookout who'd retired last year. we'd worked thirty years together and met but once. ah, the voice. no wonder i knew without knowing.

we got to talking. would he take his trailer south? he seemed in no hurry to leave, and i thought, 'this is very auspicious and remarkable. likely, we'd never meet again, he turning 75, me not far behind.' he pulled off the cap to his camera. i asked, 'have you gotten back to painting?' 'been thinking about it.' 'you could put your stuff on the web.' he paused and pondered. 'i can't think of why i'd want to do that.'

my god, i had a shock. doesn't everyone want their work known, to be known, to give pleasure? evidently, he created out of the urge to do so, no other reason necessary. i'd never met such a being, not in our world of celebrity and hype, not to mention my own maniacal urge to be invisible but recognized. maybe this was the message he had for me.

you don't need a reason, you're just stuck with this restlessness, get used to it. where have i said this before? i've always said everything, it led me to a dead-end and now all i can do is look at picture-books like a child. hmm,  let's ask the rabbi.