One exquisite poem arose from Williams going about his daily doctoring. He saw a red wheel barrow in the yard of a patient (back when house calls were typical) and it registered in his gaze. Much depends upon a handful of words, 16 in fact.
Williams’s poem and the story of the role of his patient — Thaddeus Marshall — ramble about in my head. What a simple and beautiful lesson. In looking, there is a small leap in the brain that pays attention and registers a view as important. Only action turns it into something. In Williams’s case, he wrote on the back of prescription notes.
In my case, I might pluck a photograph from the pile of old newspapers used for picking up dog poop. I head out into the backyard with the dogs and give it a second look on the way back through the garage. I see angles, eyes, mouth, foreground vs. background.
Photo + drywall + desire to draw vs. write + a couple of hours = a sketch.
The way her lower jaw holds and exposes her lower teeth reminds me of my dogs when they’re concentrating on being good for a treat or ball. I feel that clench when writing, anticipating a slow-to-arrive insight.