Today is a day in which I must start everything from nothing. I am faced with multiple blank canvases (I finished two major pieces yesterday—talk about bad timing! (I am sorry, but it is not possible to tell you why I say “multiple,” but believe me when I tell you it is true))—not to mention the blank “page,” which is no longer blank, and that is a good illustration of how these things go. A thing is blank, and then one simply begins to put one’s marks on it. I think it is much simpler to do this with the page than with the canvas. I do not need to know or envision, however dimly, what the end result will be when I am working with words on the page, when I am beginning to work with words on the page, when I set down the first few words in my run up to my very rapid finger movements sometimes running almost forward of my very rapid thoughts. This may explain why not even a mother could love my writing—actually, I am my writing’s mother, and I love it, so that is untrue, so I will rephrase it: This may explain why no one other than myself reads what I write, but that is how it goes anyway. Words create the things they will be by coming together and being a congress of words. That congress will state what it is when it is fully convened and organized. This is sort of true of painting too, but with painting, one really does need to have some vague idea of what one’s driving for when one begins. I cannot make marks on the canvas until I’ve decided what I will be painting. I cannot make these marks if I am going to be painting that thing; I have to make the rudimentary marks that form or suggest the thing I’ll be painting, even if what I dimly envision does not emerge as I had envisioned it—some semblance of the initial form will stay in place and be the painting in the end. That is why it is much easier for me to sit down to the blank page than it is to stand before the blank canvas. There is also the physical presence of the page versus the canvas. The canvas is a daunting mountain god! The page is a minnow in a pond full of them. I love minnows, I love the page; I am scared of the mountain god! But that is what I have to face today, I have to make my approach to my inscrutable, faceless mountain god and make my pleas to him that he grant me favor. I am usually there for a while, for several days sometimes, pathetic in my need, humble in my uncertainty that I will once again be granted favor, and arrogant enough to think that I deserve to be. I say “he” instead of “she” when referencing this god, because it is a mountain god, and mountain gods are masculine and stand apart in stony, sun-starved masculinity, while she is all around me as the darkness I am hidden in or the light that cleanses me, as she sees fit, but she is never anywhere but all around me, there is no approaching her, ever. I will tell you a secret now, as your reward for reading this (secrets are safe when you are telling them to no one!): It is her story I am always telling you; she is the subject, she is the object, she is the verb, she is vowel and consonant both, beginning, middle and end, she is white and red and black, and she takes many shapes. It is well that I have written this, for I have more knowledge now than I did at the beginning, and that is because my congress of words is complete.