How irksome that constant tension between the urge to grow, move and change and the undoubtedly more natural desire for stasis! Isn’t good-enough good enough? Can’t the ol’ universe cut me a break a little more often? I like it when I get something done, especially something I’ve really wanted or needed to finish, and most especially when it turns out well. But I can’t say I’m crazy about the long slog from here to there. Most of the time it’s just work. Drudgery. Laborious, effortful, tiresome and irritating, endless to-do lists of work.That, as you know, is the unwarranted whingeing of a privileged, well padded and wilfully late-sleeping creature. I am the human equivalent of a Slow Loris, desiring fervently that the world would slow down to my own pace and let me seem to catch up with it—that is, if anyone as lacking in will and momentum as I am could be called fervent. But like the Loris, I am masking with my ever-so-slow progress through life a fair quantity of deliberation, because I do indeed have wishes and plans. They tend to be so vague and changeable that it’s useful to move at the slowest possible pace in order that my ideas will catch up with my motion before I need to act or make any significant alterations in my trajectory.That’s how a person with seemingly no ambition or energy or intention of doing anything whatsoever that is not forced upon me can have, in quiet reserve, a fair treasury of plots and plans, ideas and inspirations all waiting for the right moment when I decide to take them up in the public view. Like seeds and bulbs, these unfold into leaf and then, as leaves, transform from season to season. Like artworks, they begin as the meeting of a barely formed thought with a pencil mark or two and gradually evolve into drawings that in their turn can change to other kinds of drawings or paintings or parts of collages. That’s how a little book that took about a decade to get from the slightest inkling at its inception to publication can have in its wake another ten books or so that will seem to spring fully formed from the printing press in relatively short shrift because they too were being built and tended, ever so stealthily and quietly and ever so slowly, all the while I’ve been creeping and plodding along.
It may not look like anything’s happening yet, but don’t worry; unless I’ve stopped breathing, I’m still moving imperceptibly and you can safely leave it that way for now.