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Dali Atomicus Photo by Philippe Halsman. (1948)
“If you understand your painting beforehand, you might as well not paint it.”
—Salvador Dalí, from his book 50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship
The reason this is my quote of the year is because just yesterday I was talking to my friend Hilda about how I have trouble finishing creative projects like writing or painting. For many years since I was teenager I'd figure out how to do something creative and then find a way to make money doing it. After a while it would become a job and I wouldn't feel fulfilled by it any more. Painting. DJ'ing. Web site development. The same thing happens over and over. These days I'm trying to be a little more aware of this kind of stuff and I'm finding that instead of trying to be a little capitalist, I'm focusing my creative energies on things I don't understand. Like writing a story about Chauncey as a way of dealing with my indecision about getting him surgery for his cataracts. Or a science fiction story I'm currently writing about the end of it all as my way of dealing with the abysmal horror of the infinities of space and time. Or a painting sitting on an easel in my room that is my way of wrestling with the shadowy aspects of my psyche.
Now, though, I'm about to turn 40 on Monday (that's right, the whole country gets the day off from work for my birthday) and I'm thinking it's time for me to find something I can throw myself into passionately and try to see through to its completion. Problem is I'm still not sure that's really what I want.
Wish me luck.
Today's image is the famous photograph Dali Atomicus taken by Philippe Halsman. Throw three cats in the air. At the same time toss a bucket of water. At the same time have Salvador Dalí leap in front of his suspended easel while Phillippe clicks the shutter on his camera trying to capture the perfect image of suspension. Then do it twenty seven more times until Phillippe finally gets the shot he wants.
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