Change of pace for today.
Circumstances dictate that I take a break from the outer landscape to concentrate on the inner, at least for today.
Had a crummy night last night. Dreams. I can’t recall exactly what they were, but I’m sure that some of them had to do with my mother, who died in February of this year. I haven’t been consciously grieving although I do have the instinct to pick up the phone and call her, especially when I am on the back deck and see a hummingbird, for example.
Today’s watercolor experiment:
I have always had an ambition to be able to show people, in visual terms, what I feel like on the inside. I have a hierarchy of ease-of-expression. It goes like this (from easiest to more difficult): 1) thinking; 2) writing 2.5) reading (if that can be considered a form of expression); 3) painting and 4) speaking. Reading helps me with the first two items. Perhaps there is some cross talk among all these expressive modes that enable a collaboration that can result in a synthesis of an understandable output (in any expressive mode), not only understandable but a precise rendering of an inner state.
The last night I was at Mom’s, when I visited for her 90th birthday she had a tough time. I heard her call, “Help,” several of times during the night. I did the best I could to help her: a tylenol the first time, a blanket the next, a gentle talk to tell her why she couldn’t have another tylenol when she wanted one.
I understand that at the beginning of her last stay at the hospital, in her weakened, confused state, she repeated called for help. No one was able to help her. A variation of this theme was probably in my dream last night.
Even though expository speaking is not my forte, I do have a calming influence on others. I attribute that to my experience growing up with Mike, my older brother who is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. I tend to be able to listen better than most. I can’t help thinking that I would have been able to help, or at least comfort Mom during her last hours.
At any rate, with this background in mind, I wanted to portray the unhappy beginning of my day as a choice between fleeing my demons or succumbing to them, a choice between seeking light or falling back into a dark place.
Here is my visual portrayal of this thought:
I realize that it is not always a matter of choosing light over darkness. I was fortunate in having the ability to do so today. I believe that delving into the cause of one’s dark feelings can be a way to conquer them, if not to conquer, at least to understand them.
The day improved. Whether it was because of my efforts to “make visible’ (a term borrowed from Paul Klee) what was inside my head, or because I chose to back away from the black hole, I don’t know.