Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Writing Smoke



My next artistic challenge is to smoke two cigars. I was given the assignment by my wife, who needs the cigar ash to spruce up the finish on my great-grandparents’ oak dining table. The trick is this: using a bit of cooking oil, a paste is made with the ash and then rubbed onto the table as a mild abrasive, which takes up the marks and stains made by glasses, salad splashes, and noodle-drips.

What makes it an artistic challenge is, first, writing through the smoke, and, second, writing the smoke. Writing smoke calls for our best skills and interpretative powers as we render that which about us is hardest to explain: our unpredictable leaps of spirit, our sorrows, and our pain.

Smoke is memory made visible. It’s the future in sinuous shades. Writing it down before it disappears is what keeps us uncertifiably sane.

“Writing Smoke” is the newest entry in my Notebook. Past entries are archived here.

Image: Writing Smoke, September 14, 2009, #2 Pencil on Used Printer Paper (click to enlarge).


Recently Linked: A friendly welcome to Gray, aka A’keith Walters, who has signed on as a follower of Recently Banned Literature. Gray writes the blog Gray’s Spot On The Wall, which you can also find linked in the “Reading Room.”

Update:
In the Forum: seeking unprofessional help.

3 comments:

Leks said...

And how is it going writing smoking cigars?
What a great idea of your wife to use ash of a cigar for finishing touch of a table surface.
I did made some drawings with the cigaret ash and combine it with the spitle,red wine and a used,wet teabag of course some waterpaint and ink,great un to do!I shall post one of the drawings on my site.Good day to you all.
Aleksandra

vazambam said...

Holy smokes, William, your fiery spirit cannot be quenched!

William Michaelian said...

Aleksa and Vassilis: you’d better watch out, because the Huff n Puff Express is rolling through!

(imagined word verification: “gasp”)