All day yesterday, as I was writing grant and fellowship applications, I was also looking out of the corner of my eye, at a promising but unfinished painting on paper. It wasn't until after dinner that I approached it, ready to push it a little farther.

I didn't do much. I started with what I felt sure of, though it didn't open much of a door into solving some problems that had been nagging. But I continued working the area, in what felt now like an aimlessness, because I had no certainty. What I had was attention to suggestion, a kind of openness of intention that allowed for very quick course corrections. The last thing I did, a small stroke, felt so right, and revealed a refinement that I had not seen or expected, that I knew I had done something good and it was a good place to rest in.