Une seule obligation, périodiquement fixe danse une vie, ordonne tout le reste de la vie: tout vient tourner autour de cela. En conservant l’histoire de ce que j’éprouve, je vis double: le passé reviendra à moi . . . L’avenir est toujours là.
"A certain routine, periodically fixed in life, organizes the rest of your life: all comes to turn around that. In writing down the story of all that I experience, I see double: the past returns to me . . . the future is always there."
Eugène Delacroix, Journal, Wednesday, April 7, 1824 (trans. mine)
The painter Delacroix is writing about keeping his journal and, by association his painting routine. It’s true, the daily routine of composing (keeping a journal, blogging, etc.) maintains a certain regularity that my life needs. Days when I don’t compose progress as if something huge is missing, Time goes by, but something essential is left out, sort of like leaving a cell phone at home, only worse.
And, like today, I know that what I was composing wasn’t brilliant or probably something I will keep, but the act of composing, holding the pencil, creating well-defined and bold beams on the staff paper all felt right.
The act itself, the routine, the daily application is the only key to composition (poetry, painting, reading, blogging, etc.). And just starting can be the hard part. Sometimes I’ll start and vow to not leave my chair for exactly one hour. This morning I did that and the ideas flowed.
Time will tell if the ideas are any good, but the important thing is leaving graphite on the paper.