Greg drew sketches of objects his irises picked up ‘outside him’ he says.
Carl on the other side of the studio wrote sketches. He used words like puzzle bits and his pencil like a brush. ‘The mind’ he said, ‘is the canvas’.
There was a particular one that drew my attention, so to speak. It had words which I fail to recall one by one but suffice to say it was about a tree. The ground were it stood describes ‘an April, early spring, just when the sun began to melt away winter’s remaining snowfall.’ ‘The dirt was wet’, I remember it said, ‘soft enough to leave a knee imprint of a careful tending gardner.’ The soil gave the impression of being brown and rich with an occasional patch of a new shoots of green grass and here and there even a weed was mentioned as part of the scene ‘waking to the mild efforts of the sun and its exertion to warm the land and do away with its cold, arctic wind competitor.’
There after the sketch read a bit more different because the task at hand required a great deal of dexterity on the part of the describer. The sketcher must be well versed in the study of forestry in as much as vocabulary goes. One would argue, to paraphrase Gertrud Stein, a tree is a tree is a tree. No doubt the masses would agree but to the artist at hand, every word is like a different shade of color added to the ‘object’ being retold in words. There is no doubt that color is recalled on the mind, in ‘the canvas’, of the reader but it in itself is not solely the only part which is vital.
Linear aspects must also be taken into account. The background provides dimensionality to the description. The word is in the stone age compared to the eye. So as my eyes scanned the sketch for those qualities, my soul looked into my mind for these details, ever so important to the description, in order to see what this poor alphabetical system of ours had to offer. Needless to say, if the sketch manages to redraw its purpose/object in the mind and then recreate the image, see able by the ocular capacity of the mind, then it has succeeded.
But I will digress no more. Please bear in mind that I’m merely paraphrasing here because I can never really describe what I saw in that written sketch but merely tell you what I saw.
The tree had been trimmed and what seemed attempts at hacking its life from the ground with little obvious successes. It stood, the tale tells, ‘between a half corroded fence and some rusty railroads where commuter trains passed by every fifteen minutes’. The tree was dark-brown in color, almost surely filled with soot due to the surrounding industrial complex and the passing of the locomotives. Branches spread out and the bark gave it a respectful and peaceful look. Its branches weren’t that thick, I read, but sturdy enough for a child to cling to it and swing about somewhat. It was more in looks like the hand of a rheumatic in old age except these boughs were sprouting new leaves, receiving nourishment, no doubt, from winter’s past snow.
It was a sign of hope in a wasteland.