Solitary, melancholy, misunderstood. . . that is how I feel today. I do not want to go outside. I do not want to paint this morning. I am profoundly uninspired. So I look out the window and see flat black tar roofs of squat apartment buildings rimmed with melting snow. But the snow is turning gray and dismal and the sun can’t cheer things up. And I know it’s still cold, in spite of how the sun creates the pretense of warmth. The trees are bare, sparse, and futile. They are that nasty color of old cement, so faint that they barely seem to exist. Now that they’re dead and have no leaves, they don’t seem to matter anymore. And the sky is trying hard to be blue, but it seems sick and pale to me.
And that’s why I can’t paint today. Today I feel exiled. Today I feel sequestered. Today I feel trapped. And all I can do is write about it. Today it just seems like there is nothing to paint. Why reproduce the ugliness outside? I’ve had enough of dead trees, of buildings with all their color drained from them by the feeble rays of a tired winter sun. And the snow pretends to melt, trying to fool us all. But everyone knows it will come back again, to slow down traffic, to cover the ground like a cold white scab that’s only pretty for the first hour or so and then the dogs pee in it and the drunks puke in it and everyone dents its smooth surface with muddy boots and it gets all gray and nasty around the edges.
And the sky tries so hard to be a nice poster-colored non-photo cerulean blue, or azure, or some other color you’d buy in a tube of paint or colored pencil. But a rampart of clouds between its midsection and its horizon spread a sickly grayness and defeat it all. That’s what a winter sky is, defeated. It is there to let a little sun through, to illuminate the dirty snow, to distinguish night from day. But it doesn’t inspire me to paint.
So I sit here in bed on sheets of true azure. And the radiator pipes clang in their usual annoying way. I sit here not wanting to go and not wanting to stay.
©2000 Tiffany Gholar