A Visit From an Old “Friend”

An old “friend” is visiting me today.  I hope she leaves soon.

All she does is ask questions, pointless questions.  Why are you doing this?  Who would want to look at that?  Do you want attention that badly?  Why say “you do it for yourself?” That is a lie and you know it!

The questions are followed up with statements.  Liar.  Mediocre.  Be happy with what you have.  Don’t try so hard.  Stop being so optimistic, no one is going to see it (or you.)  Look at that mistake, you can’t fix that.  You ruined it! You can’t figure it out.  Stop trying.  Go with the flow.

Green-Eyed Monster

Green-Eyed Monster, Acrylic on canvas board.

Just this morning I decided my self doubt was female.  Not because I am female, because women are really evil towards each other when jealous.  My self doubt is a jealous woman.  Every time I get a visit from her I usually end up succumbing to her malicious attacks.  I stop my projects, stop trying, and just hid in books or movies.  I hide in the amazing creations of others because she says that it is the best I can do.  Be a consumer.  Be boring.  Be a grey blob.

There are occasions that I win out.  I will turn the visit into a dark art piece.  Fire, burnt out forests, or wastelands that will never see the light of day.  These rare cases are when I can continue to work on the light and happy images I enjoy painting.

I do not want to be that person.  The one that sees only the darkness that is everywhere.  There is beauty in the darkness, but it has teeth, thorns, claws and pain follows.  Wallowing in the darkness leads to more darkness.  I will fence it in.  Hide it.

I do not think you ever really get out.  Even if you are lucky to get help to escape from the darkness, it clings to you.  Beckoning you back to the darkness, teeth, thorns, claws and pain.  Like the characters in a horror movie, we go and investigate.  Hoping that our lifeline is strong enough to keep us from falling in.  Hoping, at the very least, that the lifeline will be able to pull us back out.

Yes, we put up fences around the darkness.  Complete with little warning signs to remind us what happens when we stray to close.  Like real fences and signs, they go unread or ignored.  We stupidly climb over the fence and investigate the darkness. Hoping.

Does this make us foolish?  Maybe Stupid?  Overly trusting of our lifeline?  Probably.

Foolish for sure.  Repeated behavior, yet expecting a different result is part of insanity.  We must all be insane.  I never thought stupid.  Not many insane people are stupid.  Overly trusting or never trusting? Which one…  Everything is a test and a lifeline can break.  Then down into the darkness you go.  Searching for a new lifeline.  On the other hand if you never test it, can you trust it?

Writing this it has occurred to me that I paint bright and happy things because I am trying to force the darkness back.  It is a type of fence or wall.  It may also be the same reason I paint instead of draw.  Not very well rounded of me.  I suppose that I have known this for a while.  It just took today (this post) to make me admit it.

Do I trust myself to explore behind the bright images?  Will I try drawing or painting something from the dark?  The answer swirling in my mind.  I have not caught it yet.  I may need a big canvas if I ever catch the answer.  The darkness is big.

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