Words to Begin or End the Week (Maira Kalman)

We recently stumbled on an excerpt we bookmarked from “My Week“, a series the Wall Street Journal ran a few years back. This week in the life of artist Maira Kalman has some very important reminders for any week to come, themes that she revisits often in her artwork and which we never tire of.

Monday. Fly to Krakow, Poland. Visit Auschwitz. Despondent. Desolate. Will never recover. Cannot speak. 

Tuesday. Return to New York City. Read the obits. Everybody dies too young. Everybody. 

Wednesday. Walk with my friend Elizabeth in Central Park in the early morning. Encounter the identical twins with long gray hair and Coke-bottle glasses. Thank God they are still alive. Encounter the glorious dogs, trees, birds, people, fashion, frenzy of New York.

Coffee afterward. Then bus down Fifth Avenue to go to the studio to work. 

Go to Proust reading group in the evening. 

Grateful. Very grateful. 

Maira Kalman

Thursday. Read the obits. Everyone is too young. Too young. Very agitated. Go to tai chi class. Regain serenity. Pasta afterward. Time to think about serenity while eating pasta. While eating pasta, decide that I have too many things and too many clothes. Decide to burn all my clothes. Take them out of the closet. Too lazy to set them on fire. Return them to the closet. Disappointed in myself.

Friday. Walk with Elizabeth in Central Park. Encounter the Rasputin look-alike walking with the redheaded man who’s recovering from a stroke. Thank God they are still alive. 

Go to the Metropolitan Museum to look at paintings and sketch. Stop for a cup of coffee. Walk downtown to the studio to work. Grateful grateful grateful.

Saturday. Go to the farmers market. Look at fruits and vegetables. Encounter many different types of sprouts. Difficulty deciding which sprouts to buy. 

Have a coffee at the bakery. Go to the studio to work. Go to bridge class. Understand nothing. Return home. Eliminate two things from my too many things: a button and a jar.

Sunday. Walk up to St. Thomas Church. Listen to the glorious music. Sketch people praying. 

Profoundly grateful. For the earth and the sea. The sun and the stars. The people, the dogs, the trees, the fish, the buses, the paintings, the coffee, the music and the unstoppable energy of all of those who are alive.

 

Maria Kalman

Profoundly grateful. For the earth and the sea. The sun and the stars. The people, the dogs, the trees, the fish, the buses, the paintings, the coffee, the music and the unstoppable energy of all of those who are alive.

 

 

Kalman’s “Tree” and “Man with Wings” from Completely via the New York Times

With thanks to Amanda and Susan Dworski!

2 Responses to Words to Begin or End the Week (Maira Kalman)

  1. gallagher 09.10.2018 at 12:32pm #

    “…what more do we need?”
    We need the courage to climb the trees,
    and look beyond.
    ,…look farther.

    This Lady sounds scared, to me.

    Courage,
    to walk into the future.
    On the ground,
    next to me,…
    not behind.

    Courage.
    This is too often our short-coming.

    ‘Cou…rage’.
    To scream from the throat!
    ,…now that’a a way to start the week!

  2. Sally Schneider 09.12.2018 at 9:36am #

    Hmm. Curious. “This lady sounds scared, to me.” I haven’t picked that up. Just very much GRATEFUL.
    But you are certainly right, about COURAGE! Gracias!

Leave A Comment

subscribing = loving

If the Improvised Life is a source of creativity, inspiration, ideas and change in your daily life, please consider becoming a Friend with Benefits. A little bit goes a long way towards helping us publish fresh AD-FREE content each day.