I may be talking to myself, since I’ve been away from here for so long, I would totally understand if you all had abandoned this space.
When I made the decision to get my own website, I thought it would be a guaranteed way to keep me blogging consistently at least once a month. It failed miserably. My last post was in September.
SIX. MONTHS. AGO.
Sometimes in life, we feel a shift that we can’t always explain (or even understand). I felt this shift more than a year ago.
Looking back over the past two years or so - I’m beginning to see that this was a dark period for me. Like Picasso or Van Gogh’s blue period, or Joni Mitchell’s Blue album. :) It wasn’t depression, but everything just felt so much heavier.
I’m not gonna lie. It had a lot to do with Trump being elected as President of the United States. Many people say you should never talk politics on a blog, because you run the chance of losing followers, but I don’t care about that. It’s not a popularity contest. If I have one follower, I have one.
I’ll spare you my opinions and reasons, but let’s just say I believe he is a bad man, and we are going to feel the after-effects (globally) for years to come. I don’t care how well you do as a nation economically, if your children are being murdered in schools and at movie theaters - you are not a healthy society, nor are you a free society.
It’s very difficult for someone who’s sensitive to just tune out what’s going on around us. Years ago, before the internet and 24-7 news, there was not the sense of overwhelm we feel today. We’ve always been on this planet together, but only since the internet are we instantly and constantly connected with a play by play of any tragedy happening around the globe, thanks to social media and everyone carrying cell phones.
So between the news that seeps in from any little crack on a daily basis, my dad’s Parkinson’s taking a toll on his body and mind, my lack of painting, and the uncertainties of growing older…
It is any surprise I kinda lost myself?
Art was always my go-to release. Whenever I’d feel burdened or sad or just like I had something inside that I needed to get out, making art always made me feel better. I always feel lighter after I make art.
But over the past year or so, the art was so angry and sad. And I didn’t always feel better after I threw paint or ink to paper (or canvas).
And then I began to make less of it. And then the PURPOSE for making art changed and it became more about keeping a record in my illustrated journal of specific moments in my life - for fear that they (or I?) may be forgotten if these moments weren’t recorded somewhere. I began to question the purpose of art and began to have serious doubts about whether or not I really was an artist, and what did “being an artist” really mean anyway?
There was a shift happening inside me, but I kept making art anyway, even if it was less than before.
Even if it was bad art.
Bad art is still better than no art.
I tried not to pressure myself into thinking I had to paint anything.
It’s been a long, cold and icy winter here in eastern Canada, but I took lots of walks outside whenever I could. I read lots of good books. I watched lots of Netflix. I shared coffee and conversation with good friends. I did yoga. I took care of dad whenever he needed me. I made good meals. I wrote. A lot.
I told myself I would feel like painting again eventually, and I would feel like an artist again.
And lo and behold…
Over the past two months+ or so, the veil has lifted.
There’s a line from a great book I’m currently reading called “Notes on a nervous planet”, by Matt Haig:
The problem is not that the world is a mess, but that we expect it to be otherwise.
So thank you all for visiting here, and if you’ve been feeling the same heaviness lately, please know you are NOT alone. Be good to yourself.
Be gentle and forgive yourself.
Look at the sky once in a while. Go for a walk if you can.
Do whatever you need to do to feel better about yourself and the world around you.