Friday, February 10, 2006

Both Sides of the Painting

PRELUDE: I need to reiterate that much of what I write is keyboard diarrhea. The painting exists; the rest is simple literary expression. No need to call the rubber room guys ... yet... ;)
When I was in art school, I had an assignment to design a cover for the magazine “Psychology Today”. My designated feature subject was anxiety and depression.
I did a painting of two faceless, genderless figures in a box of swirling brushstrokes. One of the figures was peach colored, the other deep blue. At first impression the peach figure displayed a sense of exhuberance. It reached out toward the upper left corner, beyond the confinements of the box. It seemed only a blink from joyously bursting through the frame of reference. The blue figure was diving down towards the lower right corner. As it plunged, it wrapped its arms around the legs of the peach figure. Its body language suggested stealth and dynamic swiftness.
As you looked the two over, you came to realize (as was my intention, anyway) that the peach figure possibly wasn’t in a leap of exhuberance, but a struggle to remain in its upward direction – straining to break free of the downward spiraling grip of the blue figure. Straining to keep its head above the murky waters of despair.
I got an A on my assignment. I was proud of that; A’s weren’t doled out freely at my college. Maybe it was foresight incarnate.
These days, I seem to find myself on the inside of the painting. I have much to be happy about, much to be thankful for. My life is blessed. Yet anchors of sadness weigh me down. Some I am unable to pinpoint – ghostly succubi of my own offbeat aquarian brooding artist-type psyche that have dug their talons into me and pull me down periodically for sick sport. Others I seemingly have brought on myself. Offenses for which I have repented and have not been forgiven. Accidental sins that are not permitted pardon. Kicks in my gut just as I begin to regain my composure. Blind eyes and deaf ears ignorant to my exhaustion.
Sometimes I feel that I cannot break the surface of the dark waters anymore, yet no life preserver is tossed within my reach. The cold cobalt counterpart of myself seems determined to drown me no matter what. Sometimes I get so deep that the bright light of day becomes only a pinpoint, far far above me.


Michelle said...

This would be an excellent post if it didn't make me worry about you so! Don't let go!

Rebecca said...

hahaha, I thought it was pretty funny! ;)

Is there something wrong with me? I thought you were being silly.... ?

Nelly said... can't post this kinda stuff! You are worrying all of us to death (except rebecca). :)

I wish I knew more about you and were closer to you so I could be there to listen.

clew said...

It's just expressive writing, all ... no worries! :)


Martie said... can't fool me! Thinking of you and sending hugs and lots of love!!

PS Can't wait to see you!

Theresa said...

I know what that kind of sadness feels like, and I wish you never had to experience it. At the same time, the fact that you are talking about it and expressing yourself is a good thing. The scary part is when you stop trying and withdraw into hopelessness and despair. Sometimes that looks like false happiness on the outside.

Lori said...

Look up, clew. Here is a life preserver...


FTS said...

Would chocolate help? ;)

Rebecca said...

It's a great writing - whether you feel that way at the moment or not. And if you do - then what a great outlet. :)

Have some chocolate and then do some crunches. All those feel good endorphins from the chocolate and the exercise will pick you right up! ;) hahahaha.


Kodijack said...

I really like the last paragraph, very good imagery.

juanitagf said...

From someone who has been there it is a perfect description. Please take care of yourself and don't let "the bright light of day" get too far above you.

Anonymous said...

((((clew)))) you are so talented. I'm amazed at your ability to share the written word so well. I would love to see your art someday too. I would feel very honored. We all find ourselves in the dark places you described. Fortunately for you, there's a sense of knowing and a willingness to share.

Bougie Black Boy said...

I think you do touch the surface of the dark waters. However I think you do it much more delicately and subtle than you probably did in the past. Yet still effective. I'd love to read more about you and your artwork, something you don't talk about all that much.

Anonymous said...

This was really beautiful and haunting. As a fellow "artiste", I could totally relate to it. Loved this, and glad you reposted it.