I drew on my arm tonight. Well, technically I painted on it with my daughter’s hair dye. The label warned that it might stain the skin. It did. I’m ok with that. The day before, my daughter came home with a small watercolour sketch she did in art class of two koi. A big old light bulb went off in my head. I have been thinking about tattoos lately. People ask me from time to time about whether or not I will get another one. The idea has been percolating and I realized yesterday that I would like to have a small koi tattoo; maybe on my right forearm, maybe somewhere else. I haven’t decided whether or not I will even get one, but I’m thinking about it more. Tonight I played with some ideas on my arm. I used to get in trouble as a kid for drawing on myself, or my jeans or on the wall or anywhere else except on paper. I felt like a rebel painting on my skin. Three koi are swimming around now. I will work on the design tomorrow or on the weekend. My arm, my life. The red dye will fade with time and I can make a decision when I am happy with what, where and how it will look. My doodling has bought me some time.

I like to doodle. I don’t do it often enough. I used to. It’s a nice way to unhinge the mind and let go for a few minutes or hours, whatever. I should doodle more. I suppose I doodled more when I was bored or had extra time on my hands. I am not bored these days nor am I often idle, but I am beginning to think that I should set aside some time to just draw. I need to do that in order to get back to writing as well. I am writing every day but it’s a different sort of writing. Not the fun kind.

I was asked last week to give a talk and workshop on the importance of art in my life. I am excited about it. I’ll be one of three speakers at this conference. I am going to be talking about photography as well. I have been thinking a lot about what I am going to share with this group of young women who will be attending. What does living an art filled life mean for me? Well, pretty much everything. I could not live without art or some form of creative expression in my life. Even when things have been at their very lowest – art in one form or another. In large part, that is what kept me afloat and moving forward through it all, but not only. Sometimes, art was/ is the escape. Even just thinking about writing or painting or drawing or taking photographs is creative movement for me. It’s like I am doodling with my brain, fleshing out ideas, mulling and turning them over like stirring a big bowl of batter. Anyway, after I finish talking to them about art and shit then I am sending them on a photographic scavenger hunt. Creativity and Perspective, with a peppering of Collaboration… cool things happen when you breathe.

The koi and I are going to retire for the evening. I have a date with James Joyce before sleeping. Ulysses. I might doodle while I read, just because I can.


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