Tuesday, April 23, 2002

The weasel S L O W L Y loses its twisted grip on reality. Details to follow...

And in other news, I've discovered a portal. No kidding, it's really cool.

I had my sketch book open last night around 10:30 pm, and for those of you who know me (or do you?), this is significant! Not only was I still awake at 10:30 pm, I had my sketch book open! And honest to god, I had a pencil in my hand.

What's significant about this is that art has been an immense source of guilt for me since college. There I was, sitting in the library at Lindenwood University with the brand-new semester course listing spread out on a table before me. The pungent smell of fresh electives hung lingering in the air. My first semester as a freshman was drawing to a close, and as I worked through lunch (two-thirds of a Snickers bar, carefully divided into eight equal pieces) scribbling down options for a class schedule, I realized that I was at a crossroads.

My major at that point was officially "undecided" because when I first met with my advisor, I told him, "I really like art. I'd like to major in art."

Then he asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. "A writer!" I said. He looked at me funny. And he wrote down "undecided."

This was the crossroads I found myself at in the library on that particular lunch hour at Lindenwood. Art... or English. And I wasn't about to allow myself the luxury of switching my major midway through. Because I was also


The Snickers bar and I were soon to become much better acquainted. And I needed a fast path to a good job, because I sure as heck wasn't going to send my kid to school on career day to boast that mommy worked as a cashier girl at the local Walgreens.

What did I want to be when I grew up? Well... not pregnant, single, and working my way through college for one thing. So much for that! Not on welfare either -- Okay! Still time to salvage something. Time to get serious. Of my two options, a major in English seemed much more serious and respectable. Art was fun. Fun wouldn't pay the rent.

After I closed the door on art, it kept scratching at it like a puppy begging to be let in out of the rain. The harder it tried to sneak back in, the tighter I'd wedge the door shut. After a few years, I barely knew it was there anymore. It gave up, I suppose, and crawled off to find its own dismal shelter elsewhere, whimpering and defeated. I still hear it whimper occasionally, and that's where the guilt comes from. I can't open a sketch book without being reminded of how I turned my back on something I loved.

At any rate, I'm taking a watercolor class with friends Angie and Carole, which is requiring me to use things like sketch books and pencils. So last night, even though I told myself nothing worthwhile would come of it, I opened the sketch book to a smooth, white, empty sheet of paper.

That's when I found the portal. But more about that later...

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