Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Morris Hirshfield

This is my kind of artist. Innocent. Creative. New. Pretty. In love with pattern. A poem in paint.

I am not painting for as long as I ought to. I am feeling exhausted all the time. I sit across the room from my painting with a cup of coffee in my hand. The coffee is hot, the room is unheated, and I'm wearing two sweaters. I'm listening to upbeat music. I try to let the energy from the music and the lure of an unfinished painting work on me. Because I don't really want to paint. I don't really want to do anything. I'm thinking to myself, "Should I be alive or should I be dead?"

I understand that much of the world would grind to a halt if other people thought like me. Nothing would get done. Many people would die. Everyone would be too ashamed to show their face. They would stay locked in their houses. We would all be in tune, like listening to the same radio station, demonic noise filling our ears, it is the howling of utter emptiness. Mothers would ignore their children. Children would never want to grow up and become adults. Husbands and wives would not see the point in sleeping in the same bed together. All wishing, hopes and dreams would be aborted right after they were formed. If all people felt like me then love would form only the loosest of bonds. Because how can you trust in love when after you hear a declaration of love you hear the words "good-bye", and then no other words ever again, until you two should happen to meet in heaven?

My husband says that I cannot live for myself alone. I have a responsibility to the others in my life who depend on the fact that I continue. Besides feeling a strong emotion of shame, I really feel no pain. Nothing sharp is cutting into me. No one yells at me, no one abuses me. I have food, clothes, and a home that won't be taken away from me. The only words my husband has toward me are loving. The animals in the house follow me about and ask for petting and attention. Their fur is soft and their eyes shine with inner light. There is more family, only a phone call away, who all would be happy to speak to me. No one wants me dead.

There is perhaps a way to trick myself into accepting the way things are. Exhaustion and apathy can be endured. I know I'm depressed, a state I've been in before. Knowing my history, the depression comes suddenly and then just as mysteriously lifts away. My memory is befuddled by the depression, I can't say how long it stays with me. I wish I could say, only five more days, and then happiness again. But really, I don't see a reprieve in sight. So it is better not to look into the future. It is better to stay in the present. Worry only about how I will spend the next hour. Plan to read or watch a movie and hope to escape into fantasy. Or go to sleep if I lack all concentration.

I painted today. I hold onto that thought and it makes me feel a little better.

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