Friday, July 15, 2011

Making Sense of Painting

Lest you think France is really a backward country where it takes two weeks to get internet, let me say that I got it after a week - it was a miracle. I just tok another week off.

Yesterday was Bastille Day, the 14th of July, the French Independance Day. Lest you think France is a country of unpatriotic people, let me say, we don't do anything to celebrate it. Maybe watch the parade with the President on the Champs Élysée, go to the village-wide garage sale and fall asleep to fireworks banging, but that's all.

I spent about six hours of the holiday painting a second and third coat on our bedroom walls. The bucket of paint said it was "monocouche" one-coat satin paint. Lest you think France is a country of either illiterates or meanies laughing in their sleeves at me needing a third bucket of "Gris Dore N°5," let me say I think they just don't know how to count, 'cause my hubby says I need a fourth coat for it to be a done well.

Which of course, started a heated conversation, mostly about his native negativity, perfectionism and unability to just "let it go." And maybe a bit about me being artistic (i.e. sloppy), optimistic, tired and very ready to do any touch August. Can I just say, don't spend your holidays like that. Shower the people you love with love, says James Taylor.

Even if you're tired and pregnant and he's stupid and you both just want to sleep in the room instead of on the couch and you both just want the project done and there's just been complications from the slick satin pink paint that was already on the walls to him thinking the grey taupe you picked is too dark and the paint sprayer you borrowed took a week to get and then there was something wrong 'cause the paint dripped all down the walls of the closet like melty coffee ice cream but you don't want to do it anymore and you just wanna be done!!! Please!!!

So, why am I telling you this? Because I'm scared your marriage/relationship will end over a lousy paint job?

Nathan Bransford was an agent and is writer/blogger (if you are a writer and don't know him, discover him and his blog). He recently wrote a post called Stories Are How We Make Sense of Life.  Here is an quote that I think goes with what I try to explore on this blog.

"Life is too complicated to hold in your head and relationships are too immense and multi-faceted to easily comprehend. So we write and tell stories to make sense of our relationships and existence. A novel can capture more than we can readily contemplate, and an author can, brick by brick, build a world that can illuminate and give meaning to some part of the full tapestry of our lives and relationships. They help us understand things that are too difficult to think about all at once." 

Is this why I wrote and published a teen magazine story on the death of my grandfather? Is this why my novel was absolute rubbish until I put the story in France, including my love/hate relationship with her? Is this why somehow, I feel compelled to tell you all that one more layer of paint on the bedroom walls is not worth your marriage, when all I am really doing is trying to understand my own?

Thank you, Nathan, for shining the orange glow of your blog light on this! All of you, go read the rest of his post! 


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