I play trivia almost every Tuesday. Over half the time I play by myself. This leaves a lot of empty time between rounds — sometimes even between questions.
I find myself writing. Those of you have seen my handwriting know that, except for times when my hand is tired or I have to write in a hurry, it is quite beautiful. (Even my signature is extravagant, one John Hancock would have been proud to own.)
I do not write for content, but for the sensual feeling of the ink flowing over the paper. I write my name. I write song lyrics. I write the questions out. I write random phrases, I write letters or parts of letters to people, I write things I desperately need to say to other people that know I will never have the courage to speak aloud. Sometimes I write automatically, with my hand reaching into my subconscious to find words and phrases that immediately tell me things about myself — not always things I want to know. Sometimes, the writing becomes more important than the game.
I play with the forms of the letters, my smooth script giving way to experiments in calligraphy. I become absorbed in what it feels like to watch the shapes of the letters as my hand creates them. I become the writing.
I write knowing this is an ephemeral art: all the papers are collected to be thrown out or recycled at the end of the evening. This makes the writing possible: as I said, sometimes I write things I do not want to know or things which I am too cowardly to tell other people, so I tell them to myself.
This is abstract expressionism. The lines mean nothing. The purpose is only incidentally to convey information to myself (as I said, no one else will ever see this) but more to record the experience and joy of the physical act of literally putting pen to paper. It is purely art: art for nothing more than the pleasure of its creation.
It is a small art indeed, but mine own.