It's a relief to paint again, to randomly swoosh the brush and make futile little blotches of color and lines. Even though it won't be for posterity or prosperity. But it's a peace of mind, and a wholesome notion of passing time.
In my Paris apartment, when the days are windy and summer is winding down like a thought, I sit on the sofa and whisk up colors from color blocks, thinking of letting myself be a painter for a second. Like an astronaut or a fireman. Something you've always wanted to do, or become, before the world hit you in the most unexpected ways with other burdens.
I think of my artists friends, and I salute them. What beauty they produce every day. What pleasure, what elevated sense of the quotidian they must have.
I make broad strokes of the brush. Make a not-too-convincing cartoon of a pallid green expression looking out over the edges of my apartment window. I wipe the extra pigment off with the tip of my shirt. I look out at the sky turning that shade of northern-european blue, the pale sullen end of the day that stretches out. Thirsty, I grab the jar and almost drink from the paint-water, muddy with the pigmented traces of my dream career swirling in the water.