Living is an art-form. It’s beautiful. Art evokes emotion in the person viewing it. You become part of the art, because you emotionally invest in the art. You cannot live without participating in the art of living. If you are unable to participate in the life of living, you are depressed. Depressed people (and I often sit in-comfortably with that label so include myself in that category) cannot participate fully in life and cannot appreciate life’s beauty. Life does not appear as an art form of beauty when you are depressed. Life is painful. You live in emotionally treacherous crocodile infested waters. Or you feel the numbness of nothing at all-the purgatory of being half way between heaven and hell-the dead but alive zone.
I’ve been there myself, and earlier this week suicidal ideation made an appearance. I was very much not seeing life as an art form back then.
But it comes and goes. Suicidal ideation is ‘depressed person thinking’, so I try and write it off as such- a temporary state of mind created by temporary emotional agony and hopelessness. Suicidal thinking is not something to be invited and entertained, suicidal pain is the worst kind of mental anguish imaginable…but it is not something that is readily or easily dismissed by our depressed brains.
Art is a good metaphor for life, as art is double edged, just as life is double-edged. Black and white, and all the colours of the rainbow.
Art can arrest immediate attention, shock, invoke revulsion and disgust, it can visually assault our senses and overwhelm us on sensory and emotional levels-and that is exactly what life can do. Art is not all beautiful.
Life is not plain sailing. Life is sometimes a big MESS. More graffiti than oil painting.
But we are all artists creating and manufacturing and reflecting our reality, making something of it, and changing artistic direction at all times. That is how we evolve.
Artists evolve in style, just as life evolves. This can be spontaneous and unchosen, or we can actively create our own evolution and momentum and change.
We use the word “LIFE STYLE” to describe how we live, because there is a style to living, and a beauty to it, even a dramatic gruesome form of beauty. It is all beauty. Sometimes there is a beauty to pain, though we don’t see it when we are feeling it. But in my view, pain plus creativity equals beauty.
PAIN + CREATIVITY = BEAUTY
Think about that for a moment.
Think of all the greatly successful people who have used their pain and created glory/success-there are people who completed highly coveted works of art, those who have written best selling books/founded charities to benefit others etc. They found the beauty in the pain, or at least created beauty from their pain.
How great it is, to create beauty from pain, and to possess the tenacity to tackle life head on, however it pans out, whatever circumstantial cards we may be dealt and just fucking OWN IT. Shape it. Enjoy it, at times when enjoyment is possible. We were never meant to be happy all the time. Suffering is part of being human. Shit happens. But to see life as an art-form can be a way to slightly reduce the suffering you feel.
I emailed an author idol of mine yesterday Carolyn Spring and got a very kind and extremely helpful and inspiring personal reply back from her. I am still glowing from it :) She advised me, if you aspire to create something where you will be in the public eye (which I want to do, as I want to do something to support adult survivors of childhood abuse,) you have to ignore ALL the press about yourself, the bad press AND the good press. You have to take it all on the chin without attaching personal significance to it or attaching it to your personal sense of self-worth. You have to exist independent of criticism or positive validation, and just remain you, unaffected. That is something I will struggle with as I am sensitive to criticism…but it is good advice. Maybe there is a beauty attached to social rejection or failure or being challenged. Maybe the brutality of it is beautiful and creates inner strength….I don’t know…I’m just rambling here, bleeding out my thoughts on paper…trying to make some sense of things.
But I am sure that mental creativity, open mindedness, and imagination can convert anything negative into some form of artistic beauty. That is what I am to do, to make my life into a work of living art. Will it be a masterpiece? Nope, I doubt it, but wherever there is beauty, I will find it and live it and own it :)