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The Art Wall

One wall of my office is decorated with kids' art. We ran out of space, so now when one of the twins creates something new they must decide what comes down. It's kind of interesting, because it makes them want to constantly improve. They aren't willing to put a new piece on the wall unless they like it better than something already there. I never choose; they do.

We also have a room in our basement where kids can paint and draw on the walls. About once a year we paint over it so they can start fresh. I'm a big fan of temporary art. Great masterpieces are timeless, yet somehow art that exists only for a short time seems to move me more. It becomes more about the experience than the piece. I believe it gives the artist a bit more freedom to create what they want, rather than what they think the audience wants.

Creating art is like a pressure valve, but most people don't realize it.

We have thoughts and feelings, emotions, motivations, inspirations and crises. Our brains and our souls are turbulent places at times.

I write.

Sometimes I write to get something across; a message, a thought or a lesson.

Sometimes I write just to feel the words roll off my tongue, to feel the cadence and the rhythm of my own voice in my head. I do my best writing in bed; most of it never landing on paper.

I wish I could paint. I wish I could draw.

Sometimes the rhythm of words just doesn't satisfy the hunger. I know 50,000 of them, yet that's not enough. If I were better, perhaps, but I'm not.

I wish I could feel the texture of the paper under my lead. Pencil or ink in hand I would let emotions flow.

I used to doodle, incessantly. My thoughts were clearer. My understanding of my own world more precise. There was balance. Now I've lost the ability to doodle, and with it, I'm fuzzy.

I sit in front of my giant computer screen speaking the words into a microphone and watching the cursor zip across the screen, and a broken rhythm. When my thoughts are fluid, so is the cursor. Dragon knows me. It knows how I speak, to a degree, how I think.

But when my thoughts are broken, the Dragon stops and starts. It makes mistakes and twists my words. Sometimes it makes me chuckle, but most of the time I get frustrated. When my thoughts are broken, it's at these moments I need my words the most, and words fail, and software fails. When my thoughts are broken I need a stylus in hand to express myself visually.

It's times like these I miss my hands most, these days like today.

That's why I need my children to always have the ability to be creative, and to display it. That's why I have a wall of art that I did not choose in my office.


  1. I have felt for years that there is music or art inside me, literally pressing to get out and be expressed, but it never comes out like anything you'd want to see or hear. I never thought of writing as art before. I like it! It seems very unfair to me that there is an artist, a doodler, trapped inside you, and that you have to deal with the Dragon, and not being able to doodle. It's not nothing, and I am sad with you. But I am also happy, imagining the ever-morphing art gallery in your office. And happy that you nurture that in your children, because it is IN you, too. You get it.

    And incidentally. . . .a story about doodling:


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