Monday, March 18, 2013

Dagwood has it Right

I rarely quote, or even reference, the comic strip Blondie. I read it just because my eyes have to move across that space anyway to get to the next strip. The other day, though, the situation of the strip struck a chord. Dogwood was on his couch trying for what was probably approaching his millionth nap, when Blondie rousted him. He was supposed to be painting. He tried unsuccessfully to convince her that painting involved some quiet time to visualize the finished project.

Hang in there, D. You are not so far off.

There is a land we all walk between sleep and wakefulness. In it our mind wanders where it will, or it may be nudged in a particular direction. Either way our curious thoughts sometimes stumble upon solutions to some problem of our waking hours.

I do this a lot with art, particularly if it is a piece that requires some element of invention. I think it through and think it through while relaxing on a couch or recliner or even in bed. Sometimes I will sit up with the solution never having gone to sleep at all. At other times, I’ll wake up at 3 am with the tendrils of three new plot lines threatening to fray away if I do not immediately write them down.

So, Dagwood, go ahead and visualize that paint job or short story. Doing so is the mind’s practice.

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