Everything in my blog is written by me. But I made an exception here for a guest writer, Nekko the Cat!
Day 1 – Stroll up to the human and rub against their leg. Maybe give a meow. Don’t purr when they pet you – you don’t want to be too easy. Let them cajole you into their home and feed you. Start exploring your new abode. Is it satisfactory? Does it have a couch to scratch? Does it have stairs to run up and down at 3 in the morning? Curl up on your human. Don’t forget your beauty sleep.
Day 2 – Meow near the door. If the human is stupid, reach your front paws towards the door handle. After they let you out, scratch the door to be let in again. Do this several times. Maybe pause in the doorway so they have to hold the door open for a while. Watch them make a cat door for you so you can enter and leave whenever you feel like it. Don’t forget your beauty sleep.
Day 3 – Before your human wakes up, bite their feet to let them know your food bowl is empty. They will not neglect it again. After rewarding them by eating, go back to sleep.
Day 4 – Teach your human to play. Lie down next to them. They will pet you. Roll over on your back and show the soft hair on your tummy. It will entice them to pet you more. Bite them and add in scratching with your hind legs for good measure. That was fun. But don’t forget your beauty sleep.
Day 5 – Rest. God got to rest on the seventh day but you are a cat. Day 5 is good enough.
It’s fun to get out and experiment. Today I went to the zoo to sketch whatever animals I could find. The pelicans were standing around after eating, the bear dug itself a nest and fell asleep. And just as I was drawing a profile of the elephant, she turned her back to me and sauntered off.
I have lived in artistic communities since early adulthood. I love the energy, feel it even when I am alone in my room. There is affirmation of the value of creating within an art community. There is knowledge that process is important. The energy in a community where people participate in the creative process helps generate ideas, even as we disagree about the relative value of specific pieces or particular forms of art.
Art for me has been a means of keeping an even keel in a crazy world.
Often when I create, whether a poem, a painting or a song, I don’t fully understand the symbols and juxtapositions of ideas until much later. Art is not a way to recreate reality, but distorts reality in order to fully portray it, like a curved glass will focus the sun’s rays on a single point, and result in a fire.
photo of Baltimore rapper Wealth making a music video in Savage, Maryland.
salt sea foam
as the waves recede
we are young
burgundy and cobalt
about my torso
my nipples show
i reach out
your silken sandy curls
as cigarette smoke
your voice rumbles
weakens my knees
Recently, I opened a notebook from a few months ago and found lovely drawings and stories that I didn’t remember doing. I had intended to write on the leftover blank pages but started viewing the work. It felt like I was looking at someone else’s work.
I often put aside writings or paintings for at least a month or more after finishing them, before editing them or making the final touches. When I come back to the work, I have enough perspective to edit words severely, add an extra line of paint, or eliminate a too busy portion. Sometimes I just note what I liked and what I didn’t like about the piece, tuck the piece away, and use that information to inform future work. Then, I move on. I figure that good work will emerge about 1 out of 10 times, if I’m lucky that day. This doesn’t bother me. My artwork is done for my own entertainment, catharsis, and meditation. The final product is merely a by-product of the process. But occasionally, when I look back, there is a lovely sensation of satisfaction of having done something well.