Yesterday I got an email from an acquaintance who isorganizing a Day of the Dead celebration for one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city. He asked me if I could come by and paint something on plywood for decorations. I was free last night so I said sure. I'm glad I did.
I showed up around 6 and was led to a corner of a cold, dark warehouse where there were paint cans and brushes and buckets of grey water all around. There were also giant sheets of primed plywood. I was told I could do whatever I wanted and then I was left alone.
I grabbed a flat piece of wood and pushed it against the wall, staring at it for a minute, wondering what would happen. I looked around on the floor and saw a piece of charcoal. I picked it up, quickly made a giant sketch, and grabbed the can of turquoise paint.
A sky appeared. A bulbous cactus showed up. A orange squiggle border found its way to the party. A fiddle-playing skeleton wearing a giant sombrero with fringe danced his way onto the plywood. It felt so good to be messy and work on a huge canvas. It put me out onto the comfort zone curb. Made my brain move like it hasn't in a while. The time passed and I didn't even feel it.
I was thinking today that it's pretty cool to find stuff just laying around in your head. All these little images and memories and mental imaginings are just sitting around on a couch in there, sipping their coffees and waiting to be called on.
Cactus? Get up. It's time to go. No you can't finish your latte. You gotta go. You too, Fiddle. No dilly-dallying. Everyone else can relax. It's not your turn yet.