List Maker

I don’t know why I stopped, but I was a pro list-maker. The only two that existed to me were my birthday and my Christmas’. As soon as Christmas ended it was the next nine month task to finalise my birthday requests, and down to the last day I’d edit it. I was like a transcript writer in an Italian courtroom. The best thing was, it works! Specify what you want- makes no room for doubts or queries, and Ba-ding Ka-Ching, it arrives! 

I was pretty lucky as a kid in regards to getting presents, but somewhere along the line the lists stopped along with my confidence in decision making and knowing what I wanted. The self-doubt and th ‘are you sure”s.

Now I had never really been a ‘plan’ person, somewhere I picked up that it wasn’t a good or necessary idea. So today I was painting, I’d stopped for so long I just wanted to start, before the procrastinating eating began; leaving my rounded-up army of equipment hungry on the decks. About two go’s in I realised I really should have began with a plan. I kept sitting staring at it from the sofa, like a therapist waiting for it to assert life. I was rearranging it in my head and I haven’t even finished. I thought of scrapping the whole thing, all 5ft x 3ft of it. 

It made me think, this is how my mind works. I fumble over an idea, toying with wether to set it free in defeatism, or give it a taste of life. Then, within a not very long period, I’ll change my mind on some or all of the detail. Insert a period of tight mental anguish. Then try again, feeling some sort of freedom in the fact I’ve now loosened my grip enough that it doesn’t matter if it works, or not. I abandon it before I have to go through the inflicting pain of facing its seeming unworthiness, actually reflecting my intolerance of emotional vulnerability of craft and creation. 

This is the role of the list maker. The ultimate planner, before planners became a thing.

I don’t know why I thought I could get anywhere without a plan, list, organised idea. I’ve been flailing around like a drunk octopus picking up and dropping things with half-attentive tentacles. They’re like the round pads you wet to stick stuff to glass, but don’t work, and you just have a patch of spit trailing after it down the window. 

This is the universal phone. Make a call.


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