A bit of background about "The 42s" and my current inspiration.
"The 42" is a framework for a daily practice to focus, refine or develop a skill or an idea. The framework is seven weeks — long enough to discover potential and possibility, but not so long that it feels monotonous. I suggest taking one day off each week. Seven weeks minus one day each week will result in 42 completed tasks — and new insight into your creative voice!
In the workbook, there are separate suggestions for head, heart and hands.
I'm embarking on the "head" version which is basically a research project. I'm studying Walt Whitman's Song of Myself... and other related stuff as it arises.
Last year a line from the poem kept creeping into my consciousness.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
I made a quilt with the quote.
And another quilt inspired by the first quilt.
I keep hearing it. It's even the title of a hot new non-fiction book.
So, I'll spend the next seven weeks reading Song of Myself, making a few notes, learning more about Whitman and discovering other bits of art and pop culture that are inspired by "multitudes."
I started with a trip to the library where I picked up this stack.
That fat anthology has the unabridged version of Song of Myself. It's 47 pages long. I decided I wanted to be able to make notes, so I ordered this version from Amazon. Only $2.50! It will arrive on Wednesday, so I'll read from the book until then.
I read the first two sections this morning and wrote this line down to remember.
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I also read a biography written for children. I got to this page and wondered who the illustrator was.
It's the brilliant Brian Selznick who I've written about before. See!?!? These are the kind of weird, wonderful and unexpected connections that I just love.
I'm not sure how this research will find its way into my work. Maybe it won't. That's fine. But I was really eager to wrap my head around something new. I needed to escape a bit from social media and words read only on a screen, and everything about 2016. Song of Myself was written in 1855. I am sure I will find it relevant to my life today.