For the Artists

Straitjackets are, and always were, a popular trend throughout the history of the artist community.

It has gone as far for people to say that my mental illness would be perfect for the biographies that will one day tell the story of my own artistic career. I’ve been told that my fight against my own will to die will make my biography a best seller.

I’ve been told that to really be able to make it in the world of artistry, I have to wear tragedy like the crown of a proud tsarina sitting before an audience of buzzing flies.

Such accusations remind me that minds are like gardens – Luscious, colorful, varied, and dimensional. Flowers represent our knowledge, and they say knowledge is the most fearsome weapon of all – but what if a war is waged here? What if the garden is cannibalistic?

I already know the answer.

I jump backwards off a cliff and find myself falling like a magnificent meteor. I end up a burnt up heap in Southern France, 1880’s. A lonely Dutch man traipses the country side at dusk, his exotic chalky paints and pig tail brushes thrown in a beaten canvas bag. I can smell his perspiration mixed with the metallic taste of blood that hangs in the air. It oozes out of the shriveled mass on the side of his head, his ear: a gruesome mess.Image result for van gogh

I want him to realize that the world he sees in yellow splotches and starry nights is aching for him to stick around a little longer. I want him to not succumb to the whims of his bipolar mania, or to the wretched bullet that will soon rip through his hollow stomach.

But he continues on his way, ambling into the sunrise towards a little yellow house, humming snatches of an old tune.

I find myself floating once again, as I bubble up into the atmosphere and am blown to London, England, to a neat little apartment tucked away between townhouses lined like dominoes. It is midday, 1950s, when I spy a woman lurking behind paisley curtains. Her orange blush is harsh on her pale face, her gaping teeth peek between her lips like pearls in an oyster. Beside her are a million million notebooks. Her words swirl about the small room, chattering with the same particles of depression that plague the vulnerable garden of her mind as well.

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I want her to realize that like Lazarus, she cannot rise again from the ashes. I want her to stop toxic air from committing genocide to her blood cells. I want to tell her how her children will mourn.

But she continues to watch them play peekaboo with hazy eyes, as she fidgets with small memorabilia painted yellow and black like glittering bees.

Once again, I am consumed kicking and screaming into a black hole, which delivers me to the edges of the universe. I swim through liquid helium, my skin rupturing, my nerves coiling around my organs until I choke. My spine cracks, but I swim on. I reach out the corpses drifting about around me, their faces expressionless,  their fingers unmoving, their minds: lost.

IMG_20170618_185931_833I am reminded of when I myself had walked into my pantry and taken a handful of sleeping pills, hoping to escape as well to that very green void on the other side of the universe. I look to my fellow artists, to the sunken faces of my predecessors, the very men and women who bled yellow like I did.

I want to remember that I am an artist, not the chemical imbalance in my brain or the skewed events of my timeline – I am defined not by the ailments of my mind, but the potential of my mind; not the pills that I pop like candy but the ability to actually accomplish something when I do.

I don’t fight for a best-selling biography. I fight for them.

For the artists, the soldiers of creativity, and the ability to say that I survived.

I survived.

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Creation, Blank Spaces, and Imaginary Friends of the sleep deprived mind

It won’t go away. That stupid buzz in my head. That annoying critter that tickles my brain. That…that hole in my mind. No, I don’t think sleeping will help. Sleep is a waste of time.
WHY CAN’T I THINK OF ANYTHING, DAMNIT?! (Sorry, got all street there).
My mind is completely blank and clueless. A dull light looking for somewhere dark to illuminate. Why won’t my light bulb go off? No, I don’t need sleep, I told you that already! What I need is a stroke of inspiration, that colorful bomb, that… creativity. Can you think of anything? I know, it’s hard. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you .Here, make yourself useful, and sharpen these pencils. I’m going to need them when I finally think of something.
My mind won’t stop that buzz! It’s getting louder. It’s like a boring straight line, because it’s not going anywhere but straight. Why is everything so dull and gray? I’m so sleepy… no, I don’t want a pillow. Wait…
BA-BAM.
Scratch scratch scratch goes my pen. My mind is imploding. Lights, colors, pictures, words, ideas, inventions, thoughts, sounds, EVERYTHING I WAS WAITING FOR.
Creation. I’m dizzy with so much creation.
(Isn’t it funny what seems to go on when I think? I think words but I seem to think of them before I think of them. Such a complicated thing to explain. That doesn’t make sense, you say? Well guess what? I don’t give a frying pan.)
My letters flow into words, my words to sentences, my sentences to paragraphs, to pages, to a book… to a master piece. Yeah, that’s what I said… don’t question it.
I wish people understood I’m not weird. I’m not odd. I’m different, and I want to make it known, so I do whatever I want. No, that does not make me impulsive. More like… yeah, I’m impulsive. Chuckle.
I make the page different by… creating. I make the blank space another beautiful space. Another thing to add to that star that is collapsing under its own mass. Yes, I am talking about black holes. No, you stop being so scientific!
I will be. Different, I mean. Definitely. What? Naw, just thinking to myself.
Creating.
I say that a lot, don’t I? You think so? Doesn’t matter. Repetition isn’t important. As long as it counts.
I’m not making sense, am I? You don’t care? Well.
Anyway, will you help me? Take a seat. Pull up a chair. Grab a cuppa java. Some biscuits too, while you’re at it. The strawberry ones, if you please. Yes, those.
Thank you. Yum. That’s better.
So what do you think of this? Is it nice? Is it different? Oh… so that’s how you spell acquiesce.
Thank you once again, imaginary friend. Yes, I will sleep now.
See you tomorrow.