One of my many pet peeves is when you order a soda, watch the waiter dig the glass deep into the ice bin and fill it to the tipity top with ice. Once the glass is at the maximum capacity, they proceed to top it of with a splash of soda. The waiter proudly brings it back to the table, places the huge iceberg in front of me, all with a smile. I’m too polite to say I ordered a soda not a glass of ice, but I say it in my head, hoping they are a mind reader. I call this JustICE. What’s the big deal, it’s just ice? No, I wanted something to drink not wait a half hour to have water.
I’m just as guilty of the “it’s just syndrome.” The other day I was working in my basement with an OCD artist friend, who is more competent than I at construction. We were cutting pipes and making pathways of electricity. I tried to help out and stay out of the way at the same time. When it was my turn to help I tried to show my competency at “somewhat” accurate measuring and straight cuts. After placing some PVC pipe in place and admiring my closeness to perfection, he commented that the pipe’s writing was facing different directions. It seems I was more worried about fitting and leaking than the aesthetics of pipes mimicking Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie. Then I said it…“Its just a basement and laundry room.” That’s when I had the epiphany of “Its just.” How many times do I say “Its just,” when to others it could be a job, a profession, or worse, a belief.
Then I thought (It must have been the fumes from the pipe glue that made me so aware.) I never say “Its just” at my easel. Not once have I thought its just another painting, it’s ok, leave off the hand, oh don't worry about the eyes, “they’ll know who it is.” Color, composition and cropping are all thought out or intuitively right. Yes, there are mistakes made in the process, but at the end of it, it is right. The painting gets its final brush stroke of completion that says “I’m done” and it represents the closest to perfection at that moment…my signature. If I have never said “it’s just a painting”, why couldn’t I translate that sentiment in everything I do? Maybe that is something I should have put on my resolution list last week. I’ll think about it as I sip champagne. i do know one thing there is no justICE in my scotch.