It's a book with 366 meditations to help a would-be, wannabe writer, cultivate a productive and meaningful writing life. 366 makes sure you don't miss a day even in a leap year such as the current year. The premise proffered by all who would advise would-be writers is to establish a habit of writing everyday. I asked myself why there are so many books doling out the same advice. Every writer is looking for the golden key, the magic clue or clues to becoming the next Hemingway or Dan Brown. I'd be satisfied to write like Wendell Berry. And since the answer is too simple, new advisers spew out the same advice in their own renditions and make some pocket change by selling their book to those seeking the holy grail of writing. Bottom line: write Every Day.
on page, oh wait; the pages aren't numbered per se. Page January 2 is titled: contemplating art. The assignment: contemplate a piece of art of your choice and then write a one page story in which you enter that piece of art. And describe how you interact with your surroundings.
"Hello there passerby."
"excuse me, "
No, you're not losing your mind. You can hear me because of your interest. Yes. I saw you glancing at me multiple times and kibitzing with your paramour there beside you."
I ask Di. if she heard anything. Giving me a puzzled look she says, "like what?"
"Nothing," I say, "I thought I heard someone talking."
"OK I'll play along. I think to myself."
"Do you know who I am?"
"I like that statue of David, Di., I say out loud. "What do you think?"
"Yeah, I like it. Let's go in and see how much they want for him."
"Smart girl you have there! You're right of course, I'm a knock off of Michelangelo's famous sculpture, David, in Florence, Italy."
"How come I hear you but my wife doesn't"
"I talk to everyone who passes by but most pass by without notice."
"I still don't understand," I think.
"Let me tell you a story. In the year 1501 a 26 year old sculptor named Michelangelo was walking by a large piece of marble that had been partially chiseled by an earlier artist who, under the influence of the great Donatello, attempted to create a commissioned statue. Later Antonio Rossilino was commissioned to take up the work but did not do so. Michelangelo heard a voice speak to him from the block of marble. It said, "Oh great artist to be, please free me from my marble tomb." Michelangelo appealed to Operai to grant him the commission, which they did. On Monday September 13, 1501 Michelangelo began the task of releasing the biblical hero,David from his marble tomb. Of Course he was guided along by the voice of David, until on 8 September 1504 The masterpiece was unveiled."
"That's a pretty fantastical story, all the same, and talking marble figures is a little hard to fathom."
"All the same, you are hearing my voice. Each replica of the David carries the ability to communicate with novice artists and offer to help them reach their potential."
"You think I'm an artist?" I laugh.
"The fact that you hear my voice is proof enough that an artist resides with in you. Take me home with you and I'll be you mentor."
"Diane," I say to my wife who's talking with the salesman, "Let's buy the statue of David that's in the display window."
"The price is $46.95, but we can have it for $35.00 plus tax " Di tells me.
That was in 1967 and although well worn and chipped, David adorns my dresser still and admonishes me daily; write, write today, write now; write everyday.
"OK David, I'm on the page........................
"Uh Bob, Could you get the dust rag and clean me up?"