back to basics

This is not the blog I intended to write, but I couldn’t let this experience with Hurricane Irene go without mention. As I write this I have no electricity, no water and no telephone. At least my basement is dry, which is more than some of my neighbors can claim. Two large trees brought down the power lines in front of my house and another large tree destroyed the railing on the stairs to my deck.

Once the sun goes down it’s as if the world has disappeared with it. The night has an eerie blackness with not a single light anywhere on the street. You can hear the buzz of generators in the air along with the cicadas. It’s hard to read by candlelight and there’s little else I can do in the dark. I feel this claustrophobic sense of isolation.

Still, I’m able to focus on my art during the daylight hours. I paint all morning and work on the collages in the afternoon. Daylight is the most precious commodity I have now. Time ticks away with the movement of the sun and I can’t waste any of it. It’s brought me back to the basics of why I became an artist. I feel this urgency about my art. It’s almost a need. I see how easily my ability to work can be taken away and it frightens me.

If there’s a highlight to all this, it’s recognizing how the inner drive to create has its own purpose and can survive anything. This experience with Hurricane Irene brought me back to my creative roots. I don’t know how I would have gotten through this without it.