It's been a month and a half since I last posted and I know, I keep saying the same thing, "I'm sorry I haven't been on here much." I haven't REALLY blogged in quite some time and yet there is always so much to share. This summer has been busy and full of changes and new challenges but at the very least I am still doing some art when I can. Not as often as I would like, but some. So if you don't see me on my blog check my Facebook art page to see if I have posted anything new.
Lately, with the limited time I have, I would rather use that time do an illustration than blog/write. I feel like art is a more personal way for me to communicate and expressing thoughts through a drawing or an image is a source of communication that cannot be duplicated. I like being able to speak through art. Less telling and more sharing. Oddly, I feel more anonymous when I draw. I don't feel like everyone sees everything at once. A drawing is open for interpretation and I have found, from random comments or messages left by strangers, that they interpret the art and see it through their own eyes and their own life situation, which is interesting and unplanned. I have found it to be an ideal way to share because it's not just about me. Everyone REALLY is in the same pool.
Like, my Oneiroi and I illustration. A passerby emailed me and specifically pointed this one out as something they identified with. Oneiroi (the monster lurking in the trees) is my HIBM monster that follows me and is a part of me, a part I don't want nor invited or created. A part that I have no control over, a part that is both good and bad which creates a grey shaded area of emotions. You can't be completely mad over something that has brought about such perspective but perspective is sometimes painful. There is no way around it. It's a process of working with your little monster and so I've personified him in my head, an entity that has real emotions, hurt and pain, too. So here we are...we have a relationship.
"He" doesn't know what he does, he just knows he needs to be there and grieves and ponders over my constant desire to escape from him. He is like a child. Sometimes he does wonderful things for me and other times I want to be left alone. I'm waiting for him to leave but he is a constant reminder that he is here for good. He is a constant reminder of my past, present and future. He can sometimes make me cry while simultaneously stimulating growth, wether I want it or not. I have a whole series of drawings to communicate this relationship with Oneiroi but I need to post them.
I really appreciated this passerby's comment because I never anticipated that it could touch someone else in a similar, yet unique and altogether different form. This passerby said they were intrigued with the "compassion in Oneiroi's face, his body language is timid, simple and almost without agenda." The part of this person, that they don't want, is the mental illness they experience. It is what lurks, follows and makes them feel less than in a society of fabricated sameness.
They shared that they have always viewed this part of them as evil, intentional and overpowering, making them feel like an odd entity in society. Only a couple people know of their secret pain. They shared some other really personal thoughts but it's not my place to share those here but the drawing made them look at their mental illness in a different light. "What if 'it' is not evil; with no personal agenda to destroy me; maybe I could make peace with it. After all, 'he' is part of who I am." I emailed with this person a few times and I said I was sorry that they felt this way but that everyone has a story and no one is without "illness" so, please, don't be ashamed.
Our "illnesses", disabilities or struggles manifest in different forms; physical, mental, arrogance, selfishness, through memories that control us making us puppets of the past...the list goes on. Things that we caused, things we had no control over - they affect us and create an inner dialogue that can make us feel alone. If we spent more time accepting, or better yet, learning about people's darkest plights we would build understanding. Perhaps we wouldn't have to feel so lonely, secretive, ashamed and at odds with ourself because everyone struggles. The moment you are able to understand is the moment compassion is born into your heart, for yourself and for others. And, not the synthetic kind, the kind that can only be taught through experience.
Most of us avoid ourselves and some have no choice but to face it. When you're faced with your own self it is a constant relationship and journey of learning how to incorporate it without letting it rule your life. It's not a puzzle to be completed overnight, nor is there an end, but being on the journey of resolution itself is better than nothing...I'm guessing.
I've received several emails like hers and I'm glad that others can have their own personal interpretation and see themselves in my drawings. I think that is the one message I wanted to share when I started drawing...not just about my inanimate legs and body but about the struggles that we all have but that no one wants to talk about.
Here's a couple of other recent drawings.
The Gift (Gift Giver's Unknown)
I'm adopted. My condition is genetic. I know nothing about my biological parents; the bodies who passed this condition to me. They are/were carriers but did not express HIBM symptoms, which means they are perfectly healthy and free of the remains that HIBM leaves behind. That expression was passed onto me and I am their HIBM product. Because of HIBM I have become more and more curious about my genetic/medical history and the faces whom I've never seen yet each morning reflect into my bathroom mirror. I've been doing more art about this part of my past, about being an orphan and recurring childhood dreams that I used to have. I think this is also another part of my life that is important to share, not because I want to be labeled as an adoptee, orphan or a disabled orphan but because I know this is something that affects many people (adoptees), and that some carry this sense of abandonment heavier than others. I was fortunate to have landed in a decent space and grateful that I was adopted and given a home but not everyone was/is that lucky or able to deal with the emotions of it and carry it their entire life.
I wish I could do way more art and more often. I'll try to get another piece out soon. xo