It's strange with painting, the deeper I get into it, the more mysterious it becomes. I half wonder if at the very heart of it isn't some sort of Pythagorean mysticism, some quasi-Eleusinian mystery cult—I mean, it is mysterious! Not the how or the why part of it, although both questions, how to paint and why to paint upend me daily, I can never answer either of those questions satisfactorily or with even the slightest portion of confidence, I do not know how to paint (except to paint), and I do not why I paint (except I paint), and they are both I believe questions that want answering, I do not think they should go unanswered, but I cannot find answers other than temporary ones to those questions. Sometimes I become certain, for instance, that what I paint is more important than how I paint, and in that time in which I am certain, I feel I have reached a certain summit, and I can therefore plant my flag of permanent knowing. But it is only a sandhill summit, and then the wind comes and blows it away, and eventually I decide the opposite, that how I paint is of course! more important than what I paint, and there I am with my flag again, I have conquered all doubt! But that is not the mystery I am talking about, although it is probably an aspect of it—after all, why do we paint? Are we making pictures, is the paint only a means to an end, or is painting, the way we apply paint, the end in itself, and pictures are only a byproduct of that? That is a giant question to me, I am always grappling with it! I do not even know if it has an answer! It is probably an answer that is like light that slides along a spider's thread, it is probably like that, mobile and unfixable. To answer it, or to attempt to answer it, may be a kind of initiation into a deeper level of the mysteries. The posing of a riddle: It stands at the threshold of so many stories of the voyaging seeker. All along, I've been meaning to make an address to you about the greater mystery, the one that is more than just the how or the why to paint, and here is the place where I would do that. The trouble is, I am only at the threshold, I am still with the riddle! I have not been admitted to the deeper mysteries yet! But even if I had been, initiates never speak—even if I knew, I couldn't tell you! But I can tell you this, because it is nothing I have been told myself, I am not passing on any secrets here, because no one has ever revealed this to me, I have had no guides in this perilous (fucking) journey, it is only something I intuit: I think it is a mystery that goes very very deep indeed, so deep, it is where God and the devil once convened, and all the darkness around them was infused with light, and the light was steeped in darkness, and upon this darkness that is light and light that is darkness is where it is written, the true language of painting. But I am up here at a threshold, and people are rolling carts, or wagons, by my window, I do not know what kind of merchants they are, and of course a dog is barking, for always, somewhere, a dog is barking.