Down in the garden, there's a blackbird valiantly pecking at the seed in an effort to get as much of it as he can before the snow covers it all up. Outside my upstairs study window, the snow is swirling and billowing, and inside the study there's me, thinking.
I sometimes wonder whether I think because I'm not painting, or I don't paint because I'm thinking. Either way, I'm thinking. What I really need to do, however, is write down what I'm thinking. There are connections being made, plans formulating and possibilities being explored, but all of this is internalised. It needs to be put on paper so that I can see where it might lead, so that's what I'll be doing for the next hour or two.
As is usual with these thinkfests of mine, there's a book driving me on. This time it's Eric Maisel's Creativity for Life, a book that pulls together some of Maisel's previously expressed views and turns them into an encouraging overview of the problems faced peculiarly by artists. There are exercises at the end of each chapter which, on a quick skim last night, suggest ways I might be able to get my act more securely together than it feels at present.
Whether or not I'd be better off painting than thinking is somewhat irrelevant. It was quite nightmarish trying to get down the backstairs to give the birds their cold weather rations; I'm not sure I fancy shuffling down again to get to the studio. Blimey. I might never get back up again until the thaw!
Speaking as someone born in the historic winter of 1947, I remember much, much worse snow than what we've got now. We really have forgotten how to deal with snow in this country, haven't we?