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Deck Painting

It’s been a Deck-Paint-O-Rama the last few days. It’s a big job, at times hard on the ol’ shoulders (I don’t do a lot of activities with one arm held out/above my head for three hours at a time)— but extremely satisfying and pretty peaceful.

It’s August. And, as sometimes happens even here on the shores of Lake Superior, it’s been really hot. It’s not the kind of weather where I want to sit inside. And I’ve been feeling stuck with editing (“Jorian and the Golem”) and writing (“The Ghost Hatchery”). Painting has been a lovely break from WORDS.

The deck needed to be painted two years ago. It feels good to be doing something to both make it beautiful and to protect it and make it last longer. And that, I realize, is what I’m trying to do with myself these days: figure out what supports and protects and sustains me so that I can write and perform and make a whole bunch of creative ideas happen.

That makes me feel better about my resistance to writing projects. (Long writing projects; I’m good with writing up a picture book now and then— those never feel like marathons, and rarely even like 5ks). In my 20’s I didn’t have to think about self-care in the way I do now, post-India and still in the midst of motherhood; but this work is also the work of an artist.

So I’ve slathered on sunscreen, put on the same paint-striped clothes, and scooted slowly from railing to railing, giving extra coats of paint to the cracks and worn places. I’ve focused on only what was in front of me. I’ve done small strokes, not big splashes. And I’ve slept really well every night.


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