Listening and thinking

This week I have painted, and I have tried to listen to more music than I usually do, and I have listened to people.

In the painting class there were eight students present this Thursday. Most of them old people that have time to spend a weekday every month in the studio, learning to paint in oil, and then continue the work at home on their pictures in between the lessons. Anna the artist was moving around in the studio: looking at our works; commenting on colour and compositions; showing us the technical tricks of classical painting; and explaining paint chemistry facts of life.

Friday morning I was supposed to work, but when I got to the workplace found that the material I needed for my new project hadn’t arrived yet, so I had to spend nearly three hours almost idle, reading catalogues and talking with colleagues.

Friday afternoon I started to participate in a couple of shockingly honest conversations with internet friends. Perhaps I should rethink my policy of avoiding chat symbols (“emoticons”)? I am not sure if people really understand what I say, what I mean, and when I am serious but amused (often), serious and concerned (happens), joking (and sometimes using obscure word-play), angry (seldom), hurt (seldom), unfair (happens), mistaken (unavoidable).

Saturday (today) I met a couple of friends I haven’t talked to for a long time. There was much to reveal about what has happened since last summer. Their life has been in constant turmoil for months, with unexpected events and things happening to themselves and to the children. The small dramas of my own life seemed lame and not worth mentioning, in comparison with the stories they told. Suddenly it became quite easy to understand the reason for something I already had heard through gossip and had thought outrageously mad – why they were dreaming of escaping from it all, planning to buy a large enough sailboat to live on for the next four or five years, on a slow journey around the globe.