Monday, April 04, 2005
As I was doing so, though, I realized that I have in fact painted fairly recently. Certainly not too recently, but I did redecorate my living room last year, and, in need of artwork, I did a couple of paintings. In fact, I would say my whole living room became a canvas, as it was transformed from the "sweet old lady" motif my mother had it decorated in for the previous renter, into the flaming orange, retroesque box of grooviness that it is now.
At any rate, I'm not sure exactly what it is that I'm painting just yet. I've got an idea I'm bouncing around in my head, but I'm not quite sure how it will turn out. Then again, when are you ever sure how anything is going to turn out, right? Today was all about just getting the paint on the canvas in whatever method and form I felt inspired to do. So far, I really like it.
The poem "How To Be An Artist" by SARK is one of my favorite poems, because it is so inspirational to those of us who struggle with letting creativity override the desire to have everything "just so". I need to silence the inner critic. The one who is always telling me that what I do is not quite good enough, because it is less than perfect. The one who keeps me from writing and drawing and painting because I will never measure up to the successful artists who are not only very gifted but also able to sell their writing, drawings, and paintings to an audience hungry for their work.
I read the book "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg, and one line in the book that has been a source of critic-silencing is "I am free to write the worst junk in the world." Isn't that awesome? Not every word I write has to be the the stuff of a best selling novel. (In fact, the more I see of best selling novels, the less inspired I become to try to write one. lol) Not everything has to be profound, inspiring, sharply witty, or even in any way "engaging"...it just has to be mine.
We live in such a culture of perfection. Perfect hair, perfect bodies, perfect cars, perfect teeth, perfect perfection. Well, I'm not perfect. And I'm beginning to suspect that not being perfect is permissible, and more than that, it is perfectly okay.
So what if I'm 29 and still do not really know what I want to do when I grow up. I am learning more about what I do not want to do, and that is something. I feel socially awkward and unsure of myself a lot of the time, but if the truth were told, we probably all feel that way more often than not. We're all so afraid of each other sometimes. I worry far too much about what other people think, and probably others worry from time to time about what I think. And we're both thinking, "Why do I care what other people think?" The bottom line is, nobody is perfect, yet we spend so much time trying to be that we drive ourselves nuts!
I am currently reading the book "The Best Awful" by Carrie Fisher. It is a great book so far, and one I can identify with. It is a semi-autobiographical novel she wrote describing her manic-depression. A few years ago, I was hospitalized for depression, and then was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I have since recovered, as people do from time to time who do not make their illness a crutch (don't even get me started on that!). However, I can remember very vividly the sky-rocketing mania, and the unbelievably dark and oppressive depression. People just have no idea what it is like to have those two extremes in your life, each vying for control. I enjoy reading the accounts of others who have experienced it and found recovery.
This time of year is so frustrating for me, because there is so much that I want to be and do, and at the end of the day, I remember....I'm just me, and can only do what I can do with what I have right now. I've been called an idealist, and while us idealists do have our qualities, we also have to make peace with a lot of reality that we aren't entirely able to accept. I think we also tend to impatient with life, and want to get to where we want to be about 10 times faster than life is able to make it happen. Hence the frustration.
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