I sat down this evening with a million ideas floating in my head, fresh from my meditation thinking I was going to completely paint over it, hide it in some bright color and start fresh. When the brush hit the canvas, however, I found myself working with what was there. Fixing bits and pieces of it, covering up the things I didn’t like, and taking the pieces I did and extending them out. I turned on some inspirational playlist on spotify which ended up including quite a bit of Krishna Das. It did a good job of holding my mind’s attention while my body flowed out onto the paper. When I started thinking again, things always came out poorly. I put some yellow in the corners, which I then instantly hated. I could feel myself struggling with myself, not wanting to go further because it felt done- or close to done. I had to get up, take a break. That’s when I got an email from a weirdly special person in my life who feels like he only exists in some utopian world but is also very real. I told him I was painting and he sent me an article about DMN: our Default Mental Networks. Told me I needed to shut that down before I could really paint. He always thinks he has the answers.
The article was interesting nonetheless, talked about how when we sit still, our minds are definitely not at rest like scientists used to believe. In fact, this meant they couldn’t use resting individuals as control groups in their experiments. Our minds wander often and think mostly in ways that strengthen our conception of ourselves. We are constantly crafting our narrative about this self that we believe we are. I laughed because of course, as I painted – thoughts popped into my head sporadically about what the meaning of the whole painting was: crafting my narrative in anticipation of writing about what it means.
Really, I wanted it to be prettier than how it was before.
At the last minute, I added a blue because it was bright, and I liked how it looked. It took the attention away from the ugly yellow. This feels okay for today.