One of the major draws of this place I’m living is the basement – a nice, clean, dry basement, all wide open. I have a ton of life’s detritus stacked down there; an embarrassing (no, really – embarrassing) amount of fabric and yarn suitable for knitting and/ or weaving. The rescued darkroom equipment takes up an entire corner. It should go soon, what with the allergic reaction to the chemicals; there are some things expensive prescriptions can’t cure. Furniture that needs to be redone, refinished, reglued, reupholstered; about a third of the basement is overrun by that. The washer and the laundry room sink. Daughter’s shocking accretion of stuff from college. Two bikes. Sewing machine and ironing board.

But one area was kept clear. There’s a hunk of nice thick-piled carpet in part of it. The piano is there, and my violin, and loose piles of music. Next to that is my drawing table. I had it up off and on at the farm, but there wasn’t room for it in the apartment. I was absolutely convinced that I could do without it. One of those nice masonite boards with the handhold cut out would be plenty good enough, I told myself. It’s just silly to think about taking that much room/ energy/ time for myself. Yeah. Right.

It’s now a nightly thing, going down to “my lab-o-ra-to-ry” in my best Boris Karloff. Tonight I started on the first chapter of the Collage Lab book – fun with gesso! coloring it and scratching at it and fingerpainting with it and daubing it with cotton balls. I’ve got one project fairly clear in my mind, and a couple of things that are still brewing. And when I was done cleaning up, I played my violin, and watered the peat pots that are sitting on the hot-water heater keeping warm. Coming up, I realized my glasses are all speckled with paint.

It’s so much fun being a kid.

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