Since I finished up my learning series articles (which begins here), I haven’t been feeling well. I meant to get back to blogging about my regular boring life, but I honestly haven’t had much energy for that or making any art.
The truth is that I wrote most of those articles in December and scheduled them to release twice a week during January. It was just as well because I got an ugly stomach virus that turned into a flu, which lasted more than three weeks. It made me weak and exhausted, and I felt like I must have slept for a month.
I could’ve sworn it was all psychosomatic at first. I attempted to quit smoking again (which has been mostly successful) and get back into my diet. I have (very) quickly gained most of my weight back after losing 50 pounds when the pandemic first started. I was 10 lbs away from being happy. It took all those years to get rid of it, though, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
But in the middle of my solo show, or two weeks in, the anxiety got to be way too much for me. I dropped off the diet and began stress-eating like a pig. Then by the holidays, I kept putting off going back on the diet until the first of January. By then, it was way too late. I’d gained a whopping 25 pounds back. It took at least a year to get those last 25 pounds off the last time. But that’s what I’m looking at again. I have to shave them off a couple a week, if that, if I want to do it realistically.
When I started to feel sick, I thought it was for sure in my head. I couldn’t smoke anymore. I couldn’t eat any of the things I wanted in the amounts I wanted too. I was severely depressed. I had no energy. But shortly after the first week, Hannah caught the same thing. So it was either sympathy illness, or it was real. I finally saw the doctor, and he said it was a virus. I took some medicine and started to feel better. But too bad all the vomiting didn’t take any pounds off. I have to do it the right way.
As for art, I was hardly able to finish a painting that’s been sitting on my easel for what seemed like eons. It’s done, finally (Shabbos Dinner Abandon). I think I worked on it in one-hour stints every few days when I was able to stand there without wanting to fall over. And I just wasn’t in the mood most days. I really need a hiatus, but I keep making myself feel guilty for wanting it. Every time I have an idea, I feel like I have to DO something about it, or else I’m some kind of loser. Like all those painting ideas will disappear into the ether.
Yet, I have to give myself a break, especially when I’m this exhausted and sad. Depression just sucks ass. My brain-cootie doctor has also given me a slight medication tweak, but I haven’t felt much of that working yet. I’m waiting.
The other day, I was so down and out, I wrote the following paragraphs. I guess it was for the blog. But then I stopped myself from posting it, thinking it might be too dark, But fuck it, here it is anyway:
Maybe it’s Time to Give Up
What do we do it for? Often, it’s for the recognition that never seems to come. At least not often enough or from the ones we need it. And not during the time we need it most. (Isn’t that so true?)
Maybe you’re not like me. Maybe you’re not hurting. Your ego is non-existent. You weren’t trying your damnedest, or you’re never disappointed.
Am I done? I know I’m tired. I suppose I’ll know once enough is enough. It feels like I’m running in circles, running out of time, and into the ground.
In the end, will I tell myself I wasn’t good enough? Loud enough? Cool enough? I wasn’t cutting edge enough, like the all the kids. Not made of the same stuff, I was weak. I couldn’t even carry the same weight as the normals. Couldn’t I just get a job?
That never really worked. Useless at most things. Probably useless at art too. So why not stop? Maybe, it’s time to give up. Please, call back later. My eyes and ears are sticking shut.
Yup, sounds like I need some kind of break, doesn’t it? Ha ha ha. At least I can laugh at myself.
Thanks for your email Ayin, do keep in touch. These are difficult times for everyone I find that being a Quaker helps me to keep optimistic as I hope your faith does for you.
I do hope you feel in better health soon.
Just remember, you’re not alone.
Thank you my friend. I love you. <3
First, the Shabbos Dinner painting is fantastic. I love the overall composition, the popping colors, the walls and their psychedelic Mondrian, the lady’s dress and what I prefer : the little girl’s hair which make this dinner something very very special… I litterally put myself in her shoes trying to guess what was going to happen…Congrats Ayin ! You’re a great artist and you do it for all the people like me who just love to look at your works and enter into your world.
Second, you remember what Paul Klee wrote: “I cannot be grasped in the here and now. For I reside just as much with the dead as with the unborn. Somewhat closer to the heart of creation than usual. But not nearly close enough.” This explains I think why artists feel so alone sometimes … We’re not enough interested by the here and now…
Third, I’ve been away from my computer for the last 3 weeks as I shared with you the privilege of getting a nasty virus, some sort of mix between flu and covid. Pffff… not funny at all…
What can I say Eric? Your words are so powerful and HELP me in these times of doubt. Thank you for the Klee quote as well. You put it into perspective and I really can’t thank you enough for the kind of support you give to me. You really make me feel special, therefore YOU are special that you have that kind of affect on people, on me. You blow me away sometime, like right now. Thank you so very much. Love to you, hope you’re feeling much better.
You’re welcome 🙂 Your work speaks for you…