16 x 20 Acrylic wash on canvas. K. Cameron
Seeing Success Through One lens
Last night for an undisclosed reason I woke up 2:30 am. I went back to bed at 5:30 am only to remain in a REM-less sleep. You know the sleep that is not sleep. The one where for all intents and purposes you are awake. In fact I’m still in that state as I write this post. The lyrical description “Day Sleeper” aptly applies.
To pass the time between 2:30 and 5:30 I decided to spend it with my old friend
Jack Daniels,er no ..my old friend Google, who would help me search out and find other accounts of misery. Misery loves company.
The room was quiet and a bit cold. Outside it was -8 degrees Celscius (0 is freezing btw). A small electric heater clicking on and off in a creaky old house with the occasional sound of snow moving on the roof was all that was to be heard.
I felt alone.
I read blogs and stories about people who were going through a tough time in their lives. Most of them could have been bettered by just a small windfall of monies to give them hope. For example, one guy had been unemployed for over 8 years.
They all had one thing in common,these personal stories. Success is and was defined as one’s failure to overcome a problem in their lives. Money was really at the crux of most of those problems. Job loss lead to divorce, loss of dignity, etc. One lady wrote as if this would be the note they found after her demise. Sad. She mentioned how much she loved her 7 year old son’s smile but since everything in her life was chaos there wasn’t much point in going on. I can only hope her comment was more of a melodramatic plea but one never knows.
I think this all comes about because, especially in the West, we see life through one lens. We have created a so-called civilization that gauges all of our success/well-being on what we possess or our possess-potential. Once this substructure of thought is wrenched from our psyche we consider the most awful, despicable actions to ourselves or our neighbors.
We suppose we have nothing left to stand on.
We even consider leaving those that we love because in our minds we create their minds lens for success. We don’t even know for sure what the they think of us or that the they even give us any thought at all.
True, sometimes we do know what they think. Usually a dear relative will inform us of our delinquencies and failures as if the very proclamation of them would some how create an answer! Usually their soapbox sermons include a damning list of past and vast failures. This gives us another angle on the saying, ” Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” In another words, your enemies may be less hard on your mental health than your friends/family.
What to do?
Snap out of it. My idea is tell myself whatever I need to in order to change my thought. If you know me you would know I never swear. In this case though a firm audible/ inaudible “ta hell with it!” might really help. Seriously but move on from there.
Find the ‘7 year old son’ reason to live another day.
I think the smile of a seven year old boy ( or girl) is worth something. It was for Leonardo Davinci! He’s gone but the Mona Lisa’s smile lives on.
Sure, sure…Maybe it doesn’t give you the money to buy him/her an ice cream or a trip to Disney Whirl but who cares! In a way it’s not all your fault. Society plays a part. If we could lift ourselves even temporarily away from social expectations and see that people lived on this planet for centuries without this thing or that we might see the great crime committed when we even consider doing ourselves in.
I know. Depression is not so simple all the time. It’s a mental illness. However living our lives as if dancing on the edge of failure all the time is indeed to invite depression-disaster.
I think this is where art comes in.
This is my problem when we think about art and money as the same thing i.e. in the same category.
An artist can indeed, be successful without making a dime from their art. The point of art is to get us to see things differently or for how they really are. Being a financially successful artist is no gauge of how successful our art is.
So I say keep trying to sell your art. Sure thing. Although it’s not a measure of how successful you are as an artist or a person. No way!
So with these thoughts I leave you as the guitar strums me out.
All talk of circadian rhythm
I see today with a newsprint fray
My night is colored headache gray
My bed is pulling me.