"You'll ask: Is a madman who knows he's mad really mad? Or: In a mad world, isn't the madman who is aware of his madness the only sane person? But let's not rush ahead. If you had to describe a madman, how would you portray him? Smiling but without joy, his nerves on edge; thoughts collide; time and again, he had electrical discharges, not in his brain but in his soul. Do you like this portrait? Let's continue..."
A Mad Desire To Dance
Yesterday I was lost in my own sense of despair and at times I even felt sorry for myself. Of all the people I know doing all the things that they do why am I the one who has to: see a doctor, manage anxiety, re-hash the past only to bury it properly once and for all? I wanted to cry but the truth is all I felt was numb.
I wanted to get back to my love for painting in the purest form. I wanted to remember why I used to do this and what it actually meant all those long years ago. It was something to do with time. I wanted to spend time-learning? Creating? To save myself from myself I wanted to turn off the television. I wanted to cultivate my abilities. That was it.
A baby in the bassinet. A toddler playing in the hall with little toy cars. Lining them up on every flat surface he could reach. My son was showing some strange desire to display his toys. Or was it to organize?
A smile. A laugh. A snapshot.
Then me, at my table. Trying hard to try. A portrait of my son. Then my daughter. A clumsy attempt, but an attempt just the same. Maybe I can call myself this in time: Painter. In time.
And in time: Front page of the Lifestyle section of the local newspaper. And so it went. A little here and a little there. It went that way for a long time.
It blossomed out of control a few years ago. Suddenly this desire to paint turned into something everyone seemed to want a part of. Either that or I became artistic-public-enemy-number-one. Don't think I didn't notice the glares at the community art shows. I noticed. I ignore them, but I noticed them just the same. You put a target on your back when you become known for something. Especially in a small town.
And now people say this to me; So and so is an excellent drawer-maybe even as good as you (maybe even better-I think. I think: why don't you just say that? It's what you mean.) I don't like it when people say draw-er. It annoys me.
A retraction from all eyes was called for. I return to the cave of self. Here I am. Trying to rediscover what made me want this so badly. Trying to slough off the unreasonable desire to be what everyone expects me to be and to just be. Just be without the baby in the cradle. Without the baby in the background.
Something magical happens when a baby comes in to your home. People almost expect quietness and solitude. There is a reason. A purpose: She's probably home with the baby. Or babies- they say. And I took comfort in that. I was free from the judging eyes of the working mothers simply because they could not see me. Reveling in the joy of our children. Deciding for myself what "Mother" should actually mean.
I kept working. Trying. Triumphs felt like triumphs. I rarely allowed myself to fail, but I only had myself to please. And I want to go back to those simple things. I want to go back to the love of it and nothing more.
I cannot hide behind her now. I have to learn to walk in a kind of light that suits us all. Side by side instead of babe in arms. My baby is not a baby anymore nor is she fully grown.
I am safe for now. Still, I have time to figure this out.
My photo journal for October 17th/2010... as I said I would.
Artful Blogging. Inspiration in print. Tim Horton's Coffee because I am Canadian.
This is what I see outside my door. Everyday I wonder if I appreciate it the way I should.
Maple Leaf ( I know you know).
Halloween fake hand (why?)/Fall decorations/Stuffed Pink Dog on the Piano.
Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.
Michael Doughty. The elusive one.
And these are the thoughts I had while running around the house with my camera-I think best on the move:
- Why would I want to inject my misery onto an already mostly miserable world? (when thinking about the kind of art I want to make-personal stuff is off limits, I think).
- My sense of sorrow? I want it to end. I cannot nurture it.
- Cathartic: that's the word. I just want catharsis.