Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Conversation with Painting.

Oh, Mother of Pearl, you scared me. You were just in the office, how did you get in the living room so fast? Don't answer that. Just stop following me around.

We miss you, Ang.

Oh, don't start with that. Shut up.

But you love us, remember how many hours we spent together? It was good then. You felt better after us. Now, you just have us all color coordinated and organized. We hate being clean.

Yeah, yeah. That was the past. I am not the same person as I was before.  I don't know how to approach you now. I don't know how to touch your grace. You are so annoying.

We are the same as before. And so are you.

I can't hear you.  La-la-la. Wait, I'm the mama. Just go into your room.

You are the child. Come play with us.

I don't know how to play anymore. Everything is serious, and hard. I just want to focus on putting on my oxygen mask. You feel indulgent.

We aren't indulgent. We are the oxygen. We are your thread to the divine. The further away you get from us, the further away you get from God. The further you get away from other people. You can't even write. We know. We watch you struggle everyday on that chair. We can help you with it all, if you just pick us up.

Oh, shut up.

You made promises you haven't kept. You have a list a mile long you need to fulfill. A journey around the world starts with one step and you need to make fifteen of them today.

I know, I know. I just don't to. Can't you leave me alone? Why don't you go bug some other person wearing black and listening to Joy Division?

You can't use the drinking thing as an excuse, you didn't even drink with us.

I know. It's more like I am holistically choking. I am too self-conscious. I can't quiet my brain. I have too much going on. And I am gone from the children too much right now. It's like my insides are all in stasis--my brain and my heart, at least. I can only focus on listening to drunks talk about God. That is it right now. That is the best I can do.

Don't use that shit on us, we are you. You can't avoid living your life forever. You got sober to be better at all of your life, not just the easy parts.

Stop making sense.

Remember we are all one--your sobriety, your grief, your art, your intellect, your soul.

No, you aren't. You are separate. You are beauty and muses and light and love. I don't feel those things right now. I feel raw.

You felt raw when you first visited us. That is precisely why you visited us. Just start with something for you, like a jizo. You love jizo. I promise it will get easier once you paint one little painting.

Yeah, I do love jizo....just leave me alone, okay. Maybe I want to suffer.

No you don't. You made promises you need to keep.

Man, you are annoying.

We are going to keep having this conversation with you until you paint. And we might start singing, "Live for Today" as well.

But I. Just. Can't.

Did you try?

Shut up. It's morning. The kids need to get dressed and we need to brush teeth and start our day. I can't paint now.

They like to paint too. We could, you know, paint together.

It's just not the right time.

It will never be the right time. You just need to do it. Listen to the birds, what are they saying?

Wow. They are saying, 'Do-it.Do-it.Do-it.Do-it.Do-it.'

So, just sit down, come on, give it a go.

Okay, maybe just a quick little painting to see if it comes back to me. But if it doesn't, your whole scheme will backfire and then I will never paint again. Possibly never write again.

Atta girl.


  1. I think this painting dude is great! Glad he or she managed to talk you around!

    Loved this post!

  2. Cheering you on from afar. I do love your paintings.

  3. Just do it! It doesn't matter what the outcome is, but not doing it is harder, I know. :0)

  4. I'm glad you started painting again. :)

  5. The paint is right - you do need to take time for yourself (Coming from the person who just spent the last 128 hours alone with Beanie as her father is out of town)

    And you go on the sobriety!

  6. Oh, I loved this post! LOVED IT! All caps amounts!

    (And next week I'm off work because it's Iris' week and I'm going to make shit, Angie. I AM GOING TO MAKE SOMETHING IF IT KILLS ME.)

  7. It's so hard to quiet the self doubt ... dirty bastard! i'm so glad the voice of art and your supplies were more convincing.

    I loved the part you wrote about feeling raw and first turning to paints in that very state. It's hard to remember sometimes but it was our grief, the searing rawness of our pain that moved our artself in the first place.

    Let it out. Don't think but let the brush move. You can do it.

  8. Strange how hard it can be to do what we know we need to do. I'm so glad your paints are persuasive.

  9. I love this - especially: "We aren't indulgent. We are the oxygen. We are your thread to the divine". I get caught up in this idea all the time, that creativity is an indulgence. This is just such a beautiful response to it. So so glad your painting coaxed you back.

  10. Wow I wish my paints were so verbose! But then I'd be even less productive. Loving your blog btw, your writing. Spot on, real and raw. Brilliant, but not brilliant what leads to this. If I am making any sense.


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