Thursday, August 18, 2011
Alive on Arrival
Sometimes your mind tries to tell you something that you really need to know, but you don’t want to hear it. So your subconscious can do the mental equivalent of covering your eyes and ears and saying “Blah blah blah I can’t hear you blah blah blah!” People can live in a state of denial for an amazingly long time,maybe forever, but once reality breaks through you can’t go back. You can’t return to not knowing what you were pretending to not know. I realize now that I had been doing this to myself for many years, most of my life. I can’t explain why my little shell of denial broke down, but when it did everything rushed in at once like a wave. My back was broken, the economy was broken, my career was broken and worst of all my faith was broken. I no longer believed in god when all of the major choices of my life had been predicated on religion. All of this had been true for a long time I was just in denial telling myself it was a “tight spot” a “rough patch” a “crisis of faith” when in truth things had no hope of ever getting better and I knew it. I had known it for a long time and was pretending not to. My life was over. I had spent the first 50 years of this life waiting for life to begin. Waiting for "Someday" that day when I'd be ready, when it would all come together, when I had conquered all of faults, my weaknesses and failings. When I was rich and successful and happy, then I could “start my life.” My religion was all about someday, the afterlife, the “great by and by” Heaven, Hell, eternity, someday. But “someday” was like a rainbow, always on the horizon, always just beyond the achievement of this goal or that one. No matter how far you go it’s always the same distance away. And now my religion was gone. My life was over and it had never even started. Life was over, but I was still here. Or more accurately; I was Here for the first time. Because now there is no someday, no heaven or hell and no future, for the first time in my life I was Here, it was Today, it was Now. It’s not a fresh start or a new beginning, a clean slate or an exciting new chapter in my life, it’s grimy and shabby, old and broken. But I’m here. Right now. Alive on Arrival. This painting was the most spontaneous I've ever done. I saw the image in my head, stripped my clothes off, set up my camera and took the picture, printed it out and started painting all in one flow. I often scoff at artists who claim that their work is an outpouring of their deepest thoughts, but this one came straight from my veins and out through my brush. I know it sounds like a sad story and in some ways it is, but not entirely. I can wish that I’d had these epiphanies while I was still young, but I didn't and there you are. I will never find forgiveness, but I have found acceptance, I will never find faith, but I have trust. I will never have eternity, but I'm alive today, and I believe that’s more than most people will ever have.