How It Was - and Is

Written by: Jack Jordan

I was painting – a painting painting – 
and when that right moment arrived 
I went deep into the manic time, the flying zone. 
For those readers who have never gone flying, 
let me tell you it is the absolute best feeling you can have – ever. 
How often do you get the opportunity 
to be clear and fast and all-powerful,
so deep in love with what you are doing that you can’t breathe 
and time and the world vanish and you don’t care?

My bedroom was my studio. 
My mother was dying, my wife had divorced me, 
and I had ordered a dozen or more pints 
of every color of acrylic paint I thought I might like, 
plus brushes in every size. 
I couldn’t afford it, and I didn’t care. 
When the order arrived I moved the bed 
out of my/our former bedroom and ripped up the carpet, 
stapled large sheets of heavy drawing paper to the wall, 
turned Ani DiFranco to full volume, 
and went to work. 

Going in was the hard part, the getting there, 
but I could feel when it was happening, 
feel it in my chest and breath, the movement of my body, 
and I was gone. 

I painted until the piece itself told me to stop; 
in that very instant I rejoined the world.