Piece of Mind


It's art, I swear.

It’s art, I swear.

I didn’t mean to spend the last hour standing at my drawing board cutting drawings into pieces and then trying to puzzle them back together again. I do all these semi-abstract drawings in class- they’re not quite doodles, they’re more like train-of-thought drawings that change shape and theme depending upon what was crossing my mind at the moment. And I was cutting them up. Who cuts up their artwork? It just needed to be done- they needed to fit together in some way and I couldn’t put them together unless I took them apart first. Then I got started and then couldn’t let it go- I just wanted to try one more thing. Just one more. One more.

The suspense is killing me- I still don’t know how (or if ) the collage of all these drawings is going to turn out. Will I overwork it? What if I cut all these apart only to discover that they don’t go together after all? Or worse, what if I get distracted and simply never get back to them? I suppose that is the risk we take when we try to make a change- we have to deconstruct the things that Are so that we can find out what they Could Be. And there’s no going back- which is pretty intimidating. No wonder no one likes change.

I finally got around to watching Pixar’s “Inside Out”, which probably set this train of thought in motion: nothing like watching a story about someone’s identity eroding in the face of depression to really give some thought to what it means to struggle with change. Sure, in the end Riley grows and gains a more sophisticated sense of self, values, and emotional complexity- but it involved some legitimate sacrifice: the old islands of her personality weren’t just renovated into a newer, adult model: they crumbled into dust. Which is a pretty bold statement for a movie- any movie-  to make, but then again Pixar is not exactly known for dumbing things down or softening the emotional blows.

The point I’m trying to work my way around to is: can we grow without risk and sacrifice? How much does growth depend upon a certain amount of creative destruction? Is it better to be healed or to be unbroken? Will I turn these scraps into something better or will I have cut up pages of my artwork for nothing?

That’s the real question.

 

 

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on January 4, 2016.

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