Art exists to cause emotion, thought, reflection. So it's no wonder when human beings are at our lowest, art serves to make sense of the shit storm going on in our psyche.
Does that mean art can only be born from deep psychosis and pain? Certainly not. There are a great many reasons to express oneself artistically. But for me and the purposes of this conversation I'll choose to focus on the healing power of art in my darkest hours.
I will also attempt to keep this from being as maudlin as a funeral procession with no trumpets.
Anyone close to me will confirm that I have trouble, often to the point of never doing so, voluntarily communicating my feelings. It's not a macho thing (hello have we met?) but a deep seated belief that no one gives a shit. So deep in the diet soda bottle everything goes until someone adds a soft and chewy mint then KABLOOWY all Hell breaks lose. Literally. No really sometimes it's super bad.
Other times there are long spans of time where I just shut down, almost entirely. It can be a bit on the scary side. Like daily life functions become incredibly difficult. Brush my teeth? WHY NOT JUST TELL ME TO CLIMB MOUNT RUSHMORE YOU THOUGHTLESS JACKHOLE! See? Always with the turbulence.
Yes that's a fantastic idea you just had there. Yes it had never ever in my life occurred to me to work with mental and medical health professionals to find just the right cocktail of pills that would help me live life more smoothly. Gosh that was easy. Guess that's the end of this blog entry.
Except it's not that easy, drugs are often the band-aid on a jugular and YES they do help and YES we patients should take them without fail and never be without them and Goddess forbid you ever show up to a social or family function after having missed a couple doses. Woh. Fireworks.
Look, this isn't that soap box. That's an entirely different, though related, soapbox. Meds and stuff. Ugh.
The thing the keeps the knife away from my wrists? The thing that keeps me focused on something other than how to do it without someone I love finding the body? The thing that provides projects that often take multiple days, weeks and even months to see to fruition... that's Art.
My Art is not simply a collection of craft projects. My Art is not "a picture" and My Art is certainly not for everyone but for me it's everything. Nothing else keeps me going like producing a new painting in a method I'd never tried before, beginning to take moving pictures instead of just still ones, pushing myself to new levels and higher achievement.
Art literally heals the wounds that would otherwise consume me.