Tonight I experienced something that doesn’t happen very often. I had the house to myself. Unlike those who will order take-out and watch a favorite movie in your much loved cozy spot, I head straight to the kitchen to cook and bake, turn on my classical radio station and set my mind to its internal writing mode. After a light spinach and feta salad I baked up a batch of peanut-butter, chia seed, and chocolate chip cookie bars. By the time I’m finished my mind takes its usual turn and begins finding mundane things funny, a common occurrence when I spend time alone. No, I’m not crazy, just enjoying the freedom to let my imagination roam.
Not only is this environment a recipe for delicious food but for humor. It’s here where my mind creates visual absurdities and imagines the kinds of things you might see in an animated film. As I clean the kitchen and load the dishwasher I imagine all the dishes, particularly the forks, knives, and spoons to be animated characters loading up for a ride in the large, square bathtub. As I slide the lower rack in, I can almost hear the utensils yell “ouch” as they give each other dirty looks and start fighting as I bang their heads against the side of the large metal wall, just like people being shoved into the subway car at the end of a long day at work.
With the dishwasher closed, faces appear in the patterns of my ceramic tile floor. I’ve seen these faces before, they also live in my master bathroom. As I head down the hall for my sketch pad and pencils, I get distracted and end up on another journey. I could spend hours in this “zone” accomplishing very little. Except that I’ve experienced a thoroughly enjoyable and therapeutic evening. This is how I decompress and refuel after an overly cerebral and hectic week. When I used to oil paint I’d stay up until 2 or 3 am and completely lose track of time which is a problem when you have to work the next day. As a young adult I went through a phase where I refused to wear a watch thinking that if I didn’t acknowledge time it would go away. It didn’t work. As time has marched on, I’ve traded painting for writing. Oh my gooodness, it’s 10 p.m! How did that happen?