A callus will form on any part of the skin that’s exposed to friction over a period of time. Looking through my old photos is perhaps my most abrasive exercise. It seems to have caused a phantom funnel-shaped ulceration that plumbs the depths of passivity. I like that I’m eventually isolated from the moods and decisions responsible for my photos, having buffed myself to a flat matte hindsight with a rottenstone slurry of time and avoidance. With the right squint it can pass for objectivity. But of course numbness doesn’t mean the source of irritation is gone. If I keep doing this I should find a way to check for signs of irritation so I can keep the damage to a minimum.
The callus on my writing finger is very sore today. I may have to sandpaper it down. It is getting too big.
The silly truth is that I can take almost any amount of work but I have little tolerance for confusion.
-John Steinbeck, Paris Review