Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I play trivia almost every Tuesday.  Over half the time I play by myself.  This leaves a lot of empty time between rounds -- sometimes even between questions.

I find myself writing.  Those of you have seen my handwriting know that, except for times when my hand is tired or I have to write in a hurry, it is quite beautiful.  (Even my signature is extravagant, one John Hancock would have been proud to own.)

I do not write for content, but for the sensual feeling of the ink flowing over the paper.  I write my name. I write song lyrics.  I write the questions out. I write random phrases, I write letters or parts of letters to people, I write things I desperately need to say to other people that know I will never have the courage to speak aloud.  Sometimes I write automatically, with my hand reaching into my subconscious to find words and phrases that immediately tell me things about myself -- not always things I want to know. Sometimes, the writing becomes more important than the game.

I play with the forms of the letters, my smooth script giving way to experiments in calligraphy.  I become absorbed in what it feels like to watch the shapes of the letters as my hand creates them.  I become the writing.

I write knowing this is an ephemeral art: all the papers are collected to be thrown out or recycled at the end of the evening.  This makes the writing possible: as I said, sometimes I write things I do not want to know or things which I am too cowardly to tell other people, so I tell them to myself.

This is abstract expressionism.  The lines mean nothing.  The purpose is only incidentally to convey information to myself (as I said, no one else will ever see this) but more to record the experience and joy of the physical act of literally putting pen to paper. It is purely art: art for nothing more than the pleasure of its creation.

It is a small art indeed, but mine own.