Skateboard Traces #2 | Mark Lindsay

Sometimes I get sick of the literal images of this or that. As a visual artist I am bombarded with images. Like listening to the lyrics of a ponderous song one more time, my mind gets heavy with content. That is why we have improvisation. That is why we have jazz. That's why visual artists have abstraction.

All other sentient beings on this planet go about their business without the heady weight of the human mind. And they do just fine. There is a dance to life, a flight of weightlessness. Yet, we humans seem to be getting more and more trapped within the literal. Just look at the faces of those using their cell phones—and everybody these days is using a cell phone. It all seems so serious. "Buy!" "Sell!" "How could he do this to me?" The details of life are killing us.

It makes me want to scribble. I remember, as a small boy, when scribbling was okay. It was permitted. Then, at some point, teachers would get mad when we scribbled. "You're too old to scribble. Make something nice!" So we all made pretty pictures that were understandable to the grammar school teachers. They needed something concrete, something literal. They were adults and they were serious. Make something nice.

I think all adults should scribble. And doodle. And make a mess. Whatever happened to the notion of carefree play? I'd like to go back to my first-grade teacher in my Way Back Machine and say, "Miss Boney, I think scribbling would be good for you. You haven't been smiling lately and, quite frankly, the class is being affected by your bad humor. Would you like some crayons?"