I was in my room doing push-ups. They’re good for muscle definition and supplement my workout routine. I lift weights at the gym to make myself stronger, allowing me to lift heavier objects in my studio, which means in a few months I’ll be able to make larger sculptures. Somehow this makes the meaning of my work dependent on how strong I am.
My mom barged in my room, but I continued doing push-ups. She said, “Hi, Jonathon. Here’s your book. You left it in the kitchen.” She tossed the book and I heard it land on my bed. “I want to see your studio sometime. When can we go?”
“Not now. I’m busy.”
“But I want to know what your paintings are about.”
“They’re about sculptures, objects.” I felt my face become hot and red after missing a breath.
“But what are the sculptures about?”
I was simultaneously trying to keep count. My face got red again and I gasped and said, “An activity.” By this time my chest was feeling tight and my arms were bulging. Thick veins roped around my arms and through my hands.
“But what’s the activity about?”
I rested for a moment with my face and stomach pressed on the wood floor. I was annoyed. "A strong, well-defined bicep usually implies a consistent workout routine, a range of activities whose consequent is a good form. If my painting can imply a strong bicep or impressive leg lifting abilities then I can potentially make a lot of money as a physical fitness trainer. There’s no mystery in my art. No hidden internal content.” I turned over on my back and started doing crunches.
“But it’s a mystery to me. I haven’t even seen it yet.”
I paused and wiped sweat from my brow. “Mom. To make my sculptures I need to be strong. To be strong I need to be physically active. Now please go away. You’re interfering with my creative process.”