Every few months I meet a good friend for lunch at the same local restaurant. One reason we are such good friends is that we both find, among many things, this restaurant to be exceptional in how unremarkable it is. We seem to sigh in relief during our hour long meal.
We exchanged some laughs about recent events and, like we usually do, we shared thoughts about books we've been reading, and not just the books themselves but the meandering pathways that these books must take through friends and acquaintances to reach the both of us. And from the table beside us a fella joined in on our conversation, not in sync with our topic, but rather something unrelated, which mattered in no way at all in such an informal setting.
I motioned my friend to a television anchored high where the wall meets the suspended ceiling. Kanye West's voice echoed throughout the restaurant, and fellow diners' turned their heads and attention with near neck strain toward the pop star's message on national news from the oval office.
After lunch we drove off in opposing directions, my friend toward his secluded house in a patch of woods, while I turned five or six short blocks and reached my home in the middle of town.
When I enter my house I greet our two dogs and free them to the backyard. I enter my office where I keep my laptop and write this blog entry and realize I have a couple hours until I have to pick up my daughter from school.
There are many tasks I have before me during the next several months that involve other people's buildings, event spaces, portraits, etc. I carve out spaces between these assignments to paint what to me feels unassigned and purposeless. Like land whose soil is restored by the planting of prairie grasses.