Don’t be afraid to branch out

I’ve been feeling a lot of helplessness this week. And yes, I’m phrasing it that way on purpose. I’m not sure that I feel helpless exactly. Or maybe I do. My inability to decide how passive to make my voice in that sentence is a good example of how I feel. A lot of stupid little imperfections.

The plus side: yesterday, in the middle of this feeling, I left and visited a new tiny restaurant downtown, where they serve handmade pasta and baked goods. I ate spinach tagliatelle as cacio e pepe, and a matcha latte, and it was only after ordering both these things that I remembered I was wearing a kelly green hat, and perhaps trying to draw towards myself the color of the spring plants springing up all over town, as we have been having a rainy winter. It was raining yesterday. I found a weed today, in my garden, that I think is an exceptionally tall radish, that has somehow outgrown the boundaries of its kind. It probably isn’t edible anymore, but it looks so robust.

On the minus side: I spent twice as long on this comic as I usually spend, and I’m still not sure I’m satisfied. There are a number of ways in which it does not match the vision I had for it, which was much more diffuse and impressionistic. It’s a truism that art, achieved, will in fact rarely match the artist’s intent, but I always find it bracing how much easier that distance is to perceive with visual art. I think because the intentions are more easily imagined: with writing, all is concept. With visual art, you can compare your output to an actual object. A photograph. A piece of fruit. Or what have you. So easy to compare yourself, wantingly, to the perfection of the real

Even though that’s a strange metric to use when I’m not attempting photorealism.

The plus side: Miles Davis live at Carnegie Hall, which I’ve been listening to on repeat. The plus side: Joni Mitchell. The plus side: the novel Space Invaders by Nona Fernandez (translated thrillingly by Natasha Wimmer). The plus side: a good friend coming to town and eating too much Szechuan food with you, and taking a long walk in the sun.

The minus side, sometimes: so much of reality.

The plus side: so much possibility.