Now ivory black, lots of it, then chiseling lines into with the French knife, which isas much my tool, as any brush.It fits so well in my hand. It cuts deep, through the heaviest paint.I feel myself slip into that mad place, familiar, yet always catching me off guard.This is so necessary. I need to be here to make genuine images come out.Yes, I am going into this mind state, ceasing to flee the madness, but delving in,paint on my hands, on my face, the image is arising.I push paint on and then yank it of--scrape it off, then yellow, straight from thetube—across the dark jagged shapes.The pace of my work is fast now—faster and faster still. There is no hesitation.Ananda comes up, wanting to be petted. She has been sitting on the windowseat staring out the from the window as I paint.I move back and sink into the sofa, looking at my work; Ananda crawls into mylap and I try to pet her without getting the black paint on my hands all over.I see the next move, and I jump up, back to the canvas. I mix a dark blue paintwith a thickening medium, and then I go into the edges of the painting, whichdeepens the black.Stepping back, I inspect look at the picture once more.It is a person on fire, running across the surface of the canvas. The cadmiumyellow flames, lines straight from the tube, forming the electric hair…No languid green river here.Instead, here is a person burning up, and running away.This is how I am, deep inside where the edges are torn, and raw.A green river, a walk in the cool late autumn air would be a relief… maybe I couldpaint that on a day of greater calm.But here she is, the image of the burning person.Isn’t this how my life is, at present ---longing for the cool green river, but instead,burning up throughout my self?Sometimes I want to change every single thing in my life---change it all at once,to be out. I long for some different kind of being. This is too hot—too fiery , allonce.Yet, here in my studio today, I solidly know that I am making myself free.I may not be free of the loud, intrusion of feelings and thoughts inside my head.But even with all of that, I make myself free by the act of putting this image inpaint on canvas.