"Rilke praises Cézanne for not loving his apples. For going past love. But past love into what? Whose idea was it that there are a series of rooms and that the real room, the room of vision, is the one past love?"
"Sometimes the smallness of what I do shames me. I say to myself, the world needs people teaching poor children to read, dealing with disease in Africa ... Then I tell myself: but [painting] is what I do. And then I tell myself that it would be perfectly possible for a very bad painter to say the same thing to herself. In fact, they do it all the time.
"My only way out is to be interested in the process. Which gives me pleasure, the kind of pleasure I get from a good meal. To know I'm taking the risk of being ridiculous. The risk of self delusion. But to forget that in solving the problem."
"Praising myself, judging myself, would be like talking to myself on the street when I just want to shut up and walk. Or getting back to food, this kind of work is like making a tomato sauce or putting a salad together, it has that kind of plainness. You know what you're doing, and that it's going to be good, but you aren't saying, 'Aren't I marvelous?' You're just doing it.
"And the calm of that, the pleasure of that, that point of certainty carries me through anything that might be happening in the rest of my life."
-- Mary Gordon. 1998. Spending pp. 80, 81, 272.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
at 3:53 PM