"Melt" reminds me of a treat I used to get when I lived in Indianapolis -- really good bread with garlic and olive oil, basil leaves, the freshest tomato, and cheese melted under the broiler until it was bubbly and brown. Mmm...
I may have mentioned that I hated Indiana? But the bruschetta was good. All I had to do is walk around the corner. Around another corner I listened to Hogeye Navvy, a group who sang ballads and pirate songs. Here's a bad video of them at the actual restaurant where I used to sing, shout, and thump my glass on cue. Maybe you had to be there, but this video makes me smile and sent me searching youtube for Waltzing with Bears. It's actually a good band so go to youtube if you want to hear better samples of their harmonies.
Remembering the girl in Indianapolis is like remembering another person. She was like me, but terribly depressed and lonely, putting all her energy into home repair (which you can see here) because there was absolutely nothing else to do.
I didn't paint. You'd think that I'd have lots of time to produce masterpieces, but I didn't. I tried a few times to do something, anything on canvas, but I hated what came out of me. A knife dripping blood is just one example. I don't know who'd want that hanging in their living room. I shoved it in the closet and was kind of relieved when the ex took it in the divorce. I just melted into bed and became best friends with Oprah.
This too is part of the artistic temperament. Sometimes I think the price of a painting should include the time spent in the fetal position and the cost of therapy and bon bons.
I've had a few creative deserts in my life. It's painful. There came a time when I didn't know if I could paint even if I could force myself to pick up a brush. I wondered if I had lost my talent, and didn't have enough support to express my fears.
I eventually got back to Ohio, and lived in a big house with an art studio. You'd think that would unplug the creative block, but it didn't. It wasn't until I abandoned the studio and pushed a table against a 3-story glass wall facing the woods that I was able to draw -- and then I couldn't stop. Piles of watercolors started happening even though I'd never mastered watercolors before. Dog and I took long walks amongst the trees and listened to the hidden waterfall. I made violet jelly and picked mushrooms. I talked to ghosts and kept painting. A man I admire bought one of those paintings and I felt validated.
Art is a joy when things are flowing right, and agonizing when it doesn't. There's no way to know for sure if a painting will work out until you do it, and it requires courage to find out which it's going to be. It takes more strength to face the reactions of people who see it, hoping someone will buy it. I lift my glass and pound the table to all my fellow creatives who face those fears and bring new things into the world.