Art is about the process, they say.
I suppose that this is true.
When I mess around with visual art. Old fashion Art which is mixed media on board or paper, generally, the idea of the process seems obvious, to me. It is a struggle to get a image, a thing, from my mind’s eye onto paper. It is a struggle between the mind which can be crisp and clear to the hand which, in my case, is far less certain. What comes out at the end, whether I like it or not, is the result of this process or struggle. Sometimes I surprise myself, not to say that I am particularly good at it, just to say that the end product is both pleasing to my mind’s eye and it comes with a sense of accomplishment.
Growing up and through into my late twenties I also had a love affair with the written word. In this case reading it for leisure or escape. I was always interested in the act of writing. It was a thing that I was passionate about. Well as passionate as I can be. I was just never very good at it. It seems that English wasn’t my strongest suit so when I wrote it was simply for the love of the act, the process. I think that it is this love that keeps me working on a thing in which I fully realize I lack real talent. In the case of writing, skill counts as well, but skill takes time. It has been a serious education.
Here is the strange thing.
After I washed out of college and the work force I found that I had nothing but time. I certainly didn’t want to spend my days sitting in front of a television set or later a computer monitor. So I continued messing around with drawing, mixed media and writing. From my experience, for what ever that is worth, schizophrenia, I think, is an ailment that in part effects that way one thinks. We like terms like chemical imbalance or genetic defect and we avoid idea about states of consciousness and the power of world view. World view in this case being about how thoughts are ordered, logic and the underlying assumptions that structure that logic. I used to like and think that being schizophrenic was like having a waking dream.
It took time to get my head together well enough after breakdown to begin to tinker with words again. I think it took several years before I started to put pen to paper with any regularity. It was a challenge that I enjoyed and over time I could see my words and their use improve. The better my writing became the clearer my thoughts grew. I don’t want to undervalue medication in my case, but medication alone is not enough. Meds aside, the decades that I have been working on writing whatever thoughts I may have on my mind, mostly fiction, have led to a certain state of clarity. Not to say that I am as clear as a person free of Schizophrenia, simply that I am far clearer than when this whole hootenanny started. I have reached a point where all of the people I knew personally with this diagnosis are now passed, the last being Meta’s sister. That makes me the last person standing. This leaves me with a weird feeling.
I can’t say that this path will work for anyone else. My conclusions are drawn from purely anecdotal evidence. Instead I forced to admit that I am lucky. This is so because of my interests, studies, experiences and college course work before my breakdown and my relationship with Meta after Breakdown. Change any one thing in that mix and I may not have survived to 30 much less 50 something.
It is times like these that leave me wide eyed with wonder at the staggering complexity of any individual life. That every life has something nearly unique about its existence. This is not a question of God or not God, but rather the wonder we each should struggle to maintain so that we may get the most out of each life. It is a way for baffling the mundane, the bad days, the less than adequate work, short comings and failures we are all confronted by.
I hope you have a better than average day.