the scrutiny

Let’s say you don’t know what to do.  What if you had to survey all the stuff of your life just to find out what it was that mattered?  You catalog your stuff — your mental furniture — one thing at a time.  You reexamine each still life object, or your garden at various times of day, you look at your own hands with new questionings, you carefully study the jar of rocks on the window ledge, your creamer, your house, even your weather.

We’re not talking about casual glances here.  What if each thing needed really careful scrutinizing?  What if your being an artist depended upon it!

Perhaps this is beginning to sound scary.  (I don’t wish to frighten anyone.)  Let’s walk this back.  We’re not urging millions of drawings on anyone.  And anyway to catalog your world could be wonderful.

I am merely suggesting that if you did need to revisit all the reasons, to retake your bearings, that you would just have to do it.  And you’d start from scratch.  You have to start somewhere.  Anywhere.

That first decision — I bet it would be interesting — wouldn’t that gesture take on a whole new meaning?