The piece associated with this introduction was not written as a story or article. It is a how-to letter to a friend. But I find it very interesting and share-worthy. I asked Gail if I could put it in TennesseeSoul and she relented.
The aim of TennesseeSoul, or one of the main aims, is to share the ordinary about a small community of people who try their best to survive by keeping productive and endeavoring to discover new things about their world on a daily basis. It is not intended to be showy or prissy professional in the top-drawer sense favored by snobs and academics.
When I read this letter, I wanted to paint. Gail makes it seem very doable. She makes painting a way of life.
I completely revolt against anyone telling anyone else they should not pursue a process that may make them happy, especially when that activity is harmless and more than likely will enrich the practitioner and, perhaps, an audience, no matter how small.
I want my epitaph to read: “TennesseeSoul: He tried.” Some wiseacres quip that life is eighty percent showing up. It’s not quite as easy as that; if it is, get a life. I believe life is at least half trying for even a mediocre existence in sustainable harmony with our world. And mediocre life is pretty good life indeed when you look around at many of the alternatives.
Gail’s simple letter about painting is about far more than painting. The act of painting leads a way to discovery and sustained harmony.