Make Hay while the Sun Shines
Dreamed 2017/9/14 by Wayan
I've been putting a decade of dream-comics online at the World Dream Bank. Today I edit & add Polygon Dreams and a separate entry for its main story Pentalemma. Dozens of pages and closeups. Tweak, even redraw bits. Oh, and add two catgirl illustrations to Rani, originally drawn for but not used in Ra Cats.
There are still two stories I never quite finished, Visions Upstairs and Pixy. Too tired to tackle their problems this evening... but I can see now that I will. And they're the last of Dreamtales--a massive, booklength project that's haunted me for years.
In my childhood home, in my old bedroom, I'm going through endless papers, trying to simplify. But the truth is I work messily--need a lot of stuff out where I can see it, or the work doesn't happen.
I take a break, talk with our live-in electrician, a wiry little woman. The house wiring was awful and her progress has been slow. But I have to concede "The lights have been more reliable lately."
She just tweaked the circuits in my room for me. Set them up in a cycle--each time you punch a button by the door, you get some permutation of the three lights in the room--desk, ceiling-center and bed--so rather than run round the room to get the lights right, you just whack a few times; within a few taps, it'll configure the way you want.
Not just the lights that have gotten more reliable. So's my computer and the Net. But that may be because my current devices are a mature generation, mass-produced, their bugs worked out.
Suddenly I realize... these are vital to my art! And one reason I've been obsessed with finishing stuff lately, workaholic really... is that each device may work 90% of the time but since a chain of them are vital--computer programs, pen & pad, processor, web connection, uploading & addresses, a reliable server--not to mention my health, and a lack of crises in my house!--the collective chance is quite high that at any given moment ONE cranky device or service will block me from finishing creative work.
I overwork when they all work--because then I CAN work! Make hay while the sun shines.
Or the body shines. This isn't workaholism. It's opportunism. And in an uncertain, makeshift world, it's right.
Hmm. I have worried I've been workaholic. But I'm not. Not even driven--not internally. My experience is just whispering "do it while I can--things are working. For now."
It's true of many artists. Emily Dickinson wrote for decades, but she was sporadic, blooming when the family had a competent maid to help with the cooking, shopping, and laundry. No one to help? The family dumped it all on her, and her art dried up!
Baudelaire wrote madly for four years, then vanished.
Circumstances matter. I've had recurrent, undiagnosed illness all my adult life; though it's darkened my outlook in some ways, it gave me insight too. Civilizations are as fragile as individuals. Life blooms in wild flashes--a deep moment, a brilliant generation. And then the crash. You don't need to postulate devils snuffing out the light; given how many factors health takes, you can't hope for a steady flame. I never did. Just flashes.
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