Falling into Fall
Thursday night is my night to stay up late, get a good buzz going, and spend the evening doing stuff other than sitting here at the desktop. But I went to bed early on Wednesday, woke up at midnight, couldn't get back to sleep, and couldn't even doze off for a nap this afternoon. I've been a zombie all day, and I got no work done at all. So Thursday night is off this week. The whole week has been sort of off key.
Can't get focused, no energy, just tired to the eyeballs of life the universe, and everything. The world is a warm, flat beer, right now. It's cold, stale coffee with sour milk. If the world was a girlfriend, I'd break up. If it was a job, I'd quit. If it was a sandwich I wouldn't eat the second half.
Last night I was looking at old posts here at the WFB. I've had this blog up for twelve years. Much of the early stuff came from my exchanges with the folks who were posting at "Gagdad" Bob Godwin's blog, One Cosmos. And much of the stuff I was writing about then, I'm still writing about, now.
From February 2009...
... Actually there wasn't much left to say on the topic of losing the burn. I started carving rocks, and didn't stop until the fire went out, which it did abruptly, and without even extending me the courtesy of letting me finish the last piece I was working on. But it was great while it lasted. I turned rocks into three dimensional versions of the forms that I had formerly put on paper. I'll get out the camera and take some pictures later this week. It took a whole new set of brain muscles to start seeing, and working in three dimensions. It was like going from swimming laps in a pool, to surfing. The [Celtic] knotwork drawings are impossible figures. They can exist only in a world restricted to height, and breadth.
Stone will not tolerate that kind of fanciful nonsense. It makes you play by real world rules. Along with height, breadth, and depth there is balance, strength of material, hardness, flaws, and all sorts of other considerations to deal with. And oddly enough, courage. Courage? Well, it's like this. It's really tempting to carve thin, to carve delicate, to carve with lots of open work, and things soaring off and hanging in space. It sounds really cool to make something with a lot of mass sitting on a tiny foot, and depending on a precisely placed center of gravity to keep it stable.
Until you have a two hundred dollar chunk of alabaster, and ten weeks worth of hard work sitting on the table in front of you. I'm reminded of people who go around climbing rocks, but that's a whole 'nother kind of idiocy. And I wouldn't be so presumptuous to compare breaking a sculpture with breaking me. I'm sitting here right now looking at one of my early, loopy efforts which was instantly transformed from one piece of stone into three, courtesy of last summer's earthquake. It was disappointing, but it didn't involve the loss of blood. But I'm getting all sidetracked here, and besides, that's about all I have left for now...
So, now, it's Friday night. Mary always has a couple of friends come over for dinner. She usually does some vegetarian thing for them. This time it was sweet potato lasagna, so I phoned in an order for a taco plate from J's Grill. When I went to pick up the food, they had a television on playing KCET, the national public network. The telescreen is always on. I couldn't hear the broadcast, but in the time it took to pick up my order I saw the news go from Covid hysteria, to a huge "climate emergency" protest in Germany. Every. single. protester, and all the TV people were masked. The faceless interviewing the faceless. Television is unadulterated sewage. Since we don't have one, every time I actually see a TV, I find it horrifying. And I'm not exaggerating for dramatic effect here, either. Gut level horrifying. The propaganda is so blatant, so heavy handed.
Everyone working in the burger hop is masked. Everyone who walks in during the ten minutes or so I was there, was masked. I do not mask. Ever. I always sort of steel myself, wondering if anyone is going to say anything. I click off the safety on my asshole switch. I hate being an asshole, but I'm embarrassingly good at it. Nothing happened. Truth to tell, very few people will say anything. Most shopkeepers aren't going to turn down a sale to enforce the mask rule. Still, I hate it more than I have words to tell. This is why I don't go out much. Mostly I sit here at the desktop, or work in the yard. The news I get across the internet is depressing as hell. One quick excursion off grounds confirms everything I just got depressed reading about.
But anyway- Mary's friends did not stay late, Mary turned in early, so I stayed up, and burned a few.
It was cold, and rainy most of the day Saturday. The San Pedro bloom is over. Summer's gone and all the roses fallen.
Beauty in the decay:
Sunday we had a cool, clear morning, and a sweet bright warm autumn afternoon. We got the cycle gang together for a club ride down to Seal beach. It's one of several cruises we do from time to time. We meet up in the corner of a huge Wal Mart parking lot that butts right up against the San Gabriel River bike path. It's about seven miles to Seal, when you take in the little detours for pit stops and safety meetings. Mary came along for the first time in a long while, and Russ brought his wife, Liz. Club members Dave and Mike were waiting for us not far from the pier. Dave is recovering from a very rough bout with cancer, and complications. Mike's back is bad, and he's been out of commission for a while. They joined us for lunch at the Mexican food place right across from the pier. RatRod Riders Bicycle Club is a small gang, but a tight one. The club is high on the list of things for which I am grateful. Love these guys. It was a wonderful finish to a mostly dull week. Couldn't have been a better day if we'd written a script for it.
Not a lot to report on the stone this week. Despite the distractions, and overall low energy, I did get some time in on the project. I'm still excavating; separating an inner figure from the shell/ base that will contain it.
More and more I'm making use of the point chisels to excavate material, and to rough shape the figures. I'm getting the hang of doing the smoothing and rounding with the flat blades, before cleaning up the work with the rifflers. And I have a plan to fix up a jig for my heavy drill. This project is going to take a couple of long drillings, and I don't want to risk doing them freehand. More work. More fun. Love doing this stuff.
We got some rain coming up this week, and that's mostly a good thing. It'll slow down the work, though. Not the worst problem in the world by a good measure.