THIS. I was silenced yesterday when I saw this on Instagram. THIS beautiful photo.
A spontaneous + unexpected studio reno required my space to be taken apart yesterday and packed away. I moved piles and piles of scripted pages - thousands of sheets. Paint. Brushes + brushes + brushes. Many, many projects - complete and incomplete. As I looked over all of the piles of things I had stressed and obsessed over. I thought, seriously, what is the point of all this?
Then, as my refuge was haphazardly dismantled. I felt overwhelming anxiety. I was a trapped animal with nowhere to go. And I know how ridiculous that sounds.
The night before, I had listened to recordings of Robin Williams standup and his laughter was in my head. Because he is so funny and obviously, he has been in everyone's thoughts. And because I always felt I saw sadness behind his twinkly eyes. His movies were so funny, but had such powerful sadness. And he was so good at them that clearly he was so full of both. Mrs. Doubtfire used to make me laugh + break me, too. Because in real life the funniest people I know - are a little bit sad and broken underneath.
But maybe I only wanted to see that because I feel a little bit broken sometimes, too.
I would have been totally alright if Facebook hadn't suggested AT THAT MOMENT I should read an article about how historically painters specifically have the highest rates of anxiety + depression. Which angered me. And mostly shamed me because here I was on the verge of tears with paintbrushes in my hand...
It made me think of 2012 when my body fell apart and the pain was suffocating me. I felt like I was drowning. I wanted to drown. Which made me feel so confused and ashamed. Because who WANTS to drown? I did. And I know the darkness I felt was probably only sliver of what others feel and ohmygoodness MENTAL HEALTH IS IMPORTANT. And fragile.
Then the above image showed up.
Wow. That beautiful warrier of a woman put those words I scripted on the back of her neck after SPINAL SURGERY because she needed strength. Not because she knows me (she doesn't). Not because we are friends (we are not). Not because she follows me (she didn't). Not for any reason other than she received the tattoos as a gift and they meant something to her.
THAT. That's the point.
My heart quieted right down to a peaceful, grateful whisper. That's the point of all this. I was humbled. Honoured. I don't have the words for the feelings. We need each other. Everyone.
We do these things because we need these things. THIS.
(Photo used with gratitude + permission.)