It happens in the course of events—it is a terrible thing that happens!—it happens that...well, it is a return to no-happening, that is what happens. It happens that things happen, and then it happens that they stop happening, it is a slow stalling, a sputtering kind of jerking series of interruptions of happening until the engine of happening dies and then there is no-happening. That is what happens. Then we are in the graveyard of happening, it is a place, really, of memory, but no thing. Or not. Perhaps no-happening is as valid a happening as any other, and as eventful, it only seems as if we have been felled by Morpheus, or, rather, Zeus at his trickiest worst (Morpheus only sends us to sleep, he does not cut us down at the knees, he does not violate our very reason for being). This word worst—wow, that is an old word! It is so old, I think it is on its way to obsolescence. We say it, but do we write it anymore? I am painting with great difficulty right now, it might even be said by some that I am painting badly. I am that "some." I am also of course its opposing voice that says I am painting several steps ahead of myself, so I am not really smart enough to judge. But "some's" opposing voice must surely be "none," and so, unfortunately, I am pretty silent on the argument that I am not painting badly, that is the no-happening—not, of course the silence, that would be too neat and well thought out, which would not be like me at all, but the no-happening of painting badly. And it is only that because it was not very long ago that I was at the center of the great happening of painting well, that is the greatest of happenings, trumpets are its instrument! It is because I admitted outside voices into my head, that was the beginning of the end of the great happening of painting well, when I admitted the critics' voices into my head and let them defeat me. It is always how it happens, it is uroboric, do not think it is the only time this has happened, it happens every time, the cycle of triumph and self-defeat, of happening leading to no-happening. Indeed, to keep self-defeat out of painting, well, that would be an achievement worthy of the Nobel Prize in Artist Management! Now, of course it is just a screaming rabble, a polyglot of mockery in my head, and I do not really know, to be honest with you, I do not really know if these critics are telling the truth or not, they are not very nice, and they are making my work at the easel very unpleasant, but perhaps they are only mean-spirited and it is not, after all, true that I am painting badly, perhaps I am painting quite well, perhaps I am painting better than well, and I will now tell you what I did not know I would be telling you when I began this non-neat paragraph, I will tell you that that is the One True Agony of painting, its Once and Future Agony, that it's impossible sometimes to know, but the brush must do its work regardless, even as mockery swings back to break one's kneecaps.