I did not face the mountain god yesterday, I did not ask anything of him. I will have to do that today. You must read backwards in order to read forwards, but I won’t go into any crazy stuff with you today. Yesterday I wrote maniacally and it put me off my own writing. I must remain on level ground today, I feel the fragility that comes from having strung too many crazy words together. I do not mean that I did that here, although I did—but this is the designated place for it! This is my cave where I hide all my crazy words and no one will be harmed or bothered by them, no one knows where this cave is, it doesn’t even have a name! Steady, girl. Today I will start a new painting, and I will continue work on what I began yesterday as the third and final piece of a larger project I’m working on, and then I will be finished with that project, and I will be both happy and sad to be finished with it. Large projects are good in that they carry us forward day to day, we know what train we’ll be boarding and at what time and we know the stations along the way. But eventually one gets tired of seeing the same succession of stations day after day, and then one wants to exit the train altogether. That is what I will be doing soon enough when I finish this project. Finishing will be attended by satisfaction and grief—I almost said “joy,” but where is the joy in leaving a thing one loved doing? Only satisfaction, but not joy, but there is no overvaluing satisfaction. The problem with writing these paragraphs is that it doesn’t always satisfy—it only whets my appetite for writing, which is why they are often so long and circuitous (to use a gentle word in my fragile state—batshit crazy would be the less gentle choice). I recognize it—yesterday I recognized it as a manic compulsion, a sort of graphophilia, and it frightened me a little bit. Were I the sort of graphophiliac who wrote by hand hundreds upon hundreds of tiny words up, down and across the page of a post-it note, that would be, it seemed to me yesterday, the correct expression of what I was doing. It is not, of course, what I was doing. I was just writing. But my writing spilled out of the cave—I let it out of the cave!—and there I was, in the light of day, flapping my batwings every which way, spinning up cyclones of dust that people have allergic reactions to. See?! There I go again! But in my defense, let me also say that I am not batty—I just like to write. I was born with this—yes—compulsion to record every last thing that flits on batwings through my mind. Is that so bad? The words make sense, you just have to tumble your brain a little bit to understand them sometimes, but they always make sense. It is only that I must remember this: I am a troglodyte writer. It is just how it is. The words must keep to the cave.