Sunday, May 12, 2013

Same Time, Same Place

This is a re-post from a very long time ago, but I thought it was apt considering my back and forth with the advent of Mother's Day every year. Sometimes it's a non-issue, a non-day for me, just regular, and I don't tend to think about it. But some years, it is very challenging for me. I can feel that this is one of those years. For me, this is worth a was a moment of clarity for me about the importance of having a mom in life. It continues to be a source of clarity for me regarding loss.

1/5/09 10:07 AM
"If There Were a Tree"

The hyena almost made me have an episode of panic just a minute ago. The hyena. What am I talking about? Long story, here it goes.

When I was about 19 I had this 'friend', he was older, and I thought wiser, and he had had some of the same experiences in life that I had had. And although I was convinced he hated me more than half of the time, he still gave me some of the most profound things to think about. These things always involved our lack of a mother. In the same club, he and I. So there was that at least, I think he saw himself in me, to an extent...before his own fall. I digress, but let me give you a portion of my thesis paper that encapsulates my gist:

"Societies are much the same in the animal kingdom as well. I remember when I was 20, my friend whom had also lost his mother at a young age, relayed a story to me about a wild animal. In essence it is this: If an animal's mother is killed in the wild, that animal is now all alone in the world. The rest of his clan and his society will turn against him. It is because he no longer fits, and he is not the same. He is now an outcast.

My friend was using this story as an analogy for the two of us, and our shared pain. I have never forgotten it. It was such a powerful, miserable, all-consuming concept, that I will never forget it. He described perfectly for me the loss I had been feeling for years. I found a oneness with his experience, and that helped me to understand my society, my world, and my own experience. It hurt like hell to hear, but I knew he told me so that I could conceive of what I was up against. He was warning me about my own society."

OKAY. So we have that thought swimming around my head since I was 19...and then came the hyena. And I'm not even particularly fond of hyenas (I blame The Lion King) however, I found myself some years later watching a nature special about them.

While I was watching of course, the worst thing happened, like Bambi in real life. The mom hyena died, broke her back.....the little one watched her slowly die and then stayed by the tree where she lay dead for quite awhile...unsure and desperate and helpless.

She wandered out, and was attacked. Even though that young hyena was a part of that clan, once her mother had died, she no longer held a place in their world. She was not only an outcast, but was ATTACKED because her mother was dead. I watched in tear-stained horror as it only got worse.

Confused, sad, and alone, the tiny hyena then wandered into enemy territory and again, got attacked. (things were really starting to sink in for me at this point) It was the saddest thing I have ever watched, truthfully. This little helpless baby, wandering and alone in the world. Truly alone.

Then I watched the wounded (emotionally and otherwise) baby have no other choice but to go back to her dead mother's side. It was reported by the announcer that the hyena eventually starved to death, unmoved from that tree, nuzzled up next to her dead mother's body.

(You have no idea the amount of tears I am shedding now. It's freaking unreal.)

But the point I'm getting at is that I have to paint something with my mom again, because it helps. Based on the panic I have been experiencing lately, I need it, because I still feel helpless sometimes, and attacked by the world. If there were a tree, I would surely want to curl up next to it some days, so that I could at least die with someone who had loved me.

But there isn't a tree.

I've been all up and down today, which I don't like one bit, so I decided to blog about it. I got sudden (and instantaneous) panic, crying and shortness of breath when that sad little hyena flashed into my head out of seemingly nowhere. All I got was that one, split second, thought/picture and it sent me into an instant tail spin. It hasn't happened like that in awhile, or that badly. That hyena gets me every time, and any time she wants.

So I basically wrote out this long thing to say...that I miss my mom today, and it came at me like an overpowering wave. So I think I'll paint something really emotionally difficult for me, in order to ease something for myself in the long run.

Applications, Infinity

I have been trying my darndest for the past (over a) year to secure a full time job in this world. As a result, I have been in WAY fewer exhibitions this year...I think because I applied to way less calls. I do feel like I've been slouching, but in reality, I just have application/portfolio-making burnout.

I have yet to get a full time job, or many interviews, quite frankly. So I don't yet know if it was worth the sacrifices that were being made. I am also feeling a lull in my 'making'. Usually the death knell for artists...I find that I need to be really solid on my thoughts and inside stuff to get something decent out on paper. Otherwise I'm just keeping time, mindlessly painting. More painting doesn't give me more ideas...more thinking and more mental stress/emotion do.

I don't know what that says about me as an artist, but I'm hoping for a breakthrough. I am feeling the tension of not creating so I'm sure it'll break soon. In the meantime, I'll go to my part-time jobs and start applying for shows for next year again...applications, infinity.