Monday, January 07, 2008

driving back the rats

One of the perils of staying at home with the kids is that after a while rats begin to eat your brain.

I feel the progress of the rats in dozens of different ways: the difficulty I have in getting back into "the zone" and finding the mania that lets me write well, the steady consumption of my mind with minutiae and daily grindings, and the way I've had to remind myself that I really am an intelligent and articulate fellow with viewpoints that other people need to hear.

Reclaiming my cerebral cortex from the infestation of rodents takes deliberate effort. I need to set aside time to write, even if it's just a pissante little entry on my blog that only a few friends and relatives will read. I need to watch something a little deeper than the Bugs Bunny cartoons I've taught my daughters to love. And while it's OK to read a Brian Michael Bendis treatment of Daredevil, it doesn't exactly hurt to read an old German revenge epic like "The Nibelungenleid" every now and then either.

The rats are winning, and I need to drive them back.

Today I took my first art lesson at the art studio where Evangeline has been taking classes for the last three years. It was nothing particularly advanced; it was, in fact, foundational, dealing with the four basic shapes and simple shading techniques, as well as an introduction to basic artist vocabularly like "restating the line."

The first week went well. I'm learning to hold (and sharpen) a pencil all over again -- the way I've been doing it for the past 32 years is all wrong, and always has been, but no elementary school teacher ever was able to get me to change -- but I came in already knowing a little about perspective, about the importance of making a line with a single bold stroke, and having picked up a few tidbits from having an artistically gifted daughter.

Best of all, I'm taking the class with my other daughter, Rachel, and we're learning together.

I'm having a great time, and the rats are drawing back, even if just a little bit.

Copyright © 2008 by David Learn. Used with permission.

Psst! I totally stole this from Brucker.

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