When I set about the project of a painting I usually receive the pleasant vision of the Possible in one ecstatic moment and then I spend the next 3 hours or 6 weeks or 9 months working to put before my flesh and blood eyes on linen what flashed before my mind’s eye. At its most basic level, the labor over time seeks to recover even a fraction of the taste of the sensation experienced in the initial moment. At least that is how it works for me.
With this writing thing, however, I am working quite differently…much more organically. I am taking one step…that step is suggesting the next step…and all of the steps are in the dark, so I can feel my foot rising and my leg stretching forward, but I am never quite sure exactly where it is going to land.
I mention this as I am having that experience with the development of this post. I wanted to address the nature of the isolation that I experience in Akron, and I wanted to seem clever and give the post a snappy title. “Splendid Isolation” popped into my mind immediately. The more I thought about the title in relationship to the post that I hoped to write, however, the more problematic the very nature of the title became…and I mean problematic in the very best Houdini submerged in a tank of water bound in chains type of problematic…existentally problematic.
The very notion of splendor suggests a movement outward…an explosion of super nova proportions. The very notion of isolation suggests a containment…the gravitational embrace of a black hole. At some level the two words contained in the term seem to be moving in opposite directions. Now, I am stuck inside the term itself and can’t move forward until I have made my escape. I cannot write the post that I set out to write 30 minutes ago. First…splendor…second…isolation…third…why it even matters.