Have you ever had the feeling that just too darn much was going on in your life? Not just in your personal life, but things happening in the space surrounding your life were making you anxious? Kind of like trying to stay upright while standing in quicksand, when you think you are doing a good job, then look down and notice that you are up to your ankles and sinking? Sound familiar? I guess it is just life, but when too much starts happening, I find myself getting anxious. And I turn to art, as I always have, as a way of focusing, calming myself, and finding my way past the anxiety and into a healthier place for my mood, mind and mental health.
Mental health in these tumultuous times is not always an easy thing to achieve. I found myself thinking a few months ago about how I got through other times like this in my life, and then I remembered. I painted and sketched my way through. It was calming and was a way of expressing a message. Sometimes only I knew the message, but it was there.
About a year ago, I started drawing portraits. I drew what mattered to me. I spent hours sketching, using digital art as my medium, eventually finding my groove. Drawing dead people was a way to connect to how I felt about loss, whether it was a talented celebrity, or a family member. Music also moved me to draw. Most recently I have been finishing some work that I started last summer. I was in a patch of worry and needed to soothe myself. So I chose to finish this.
There is a simple story here. In my hand is a teacup, just a cheap glass cup, but it is like the one I used to drink tea from at my Mum's house, when I was travel nursing and staying with her. On my thumb is my husband's wedding ring. He stopped wearing it years ago because he couldn't wear it on the job, for safety reasons (he was an electrician in an underground coal mine). By the time he tried it on again, his finger was too large for it, so I slid it on my thumb. Also on that hand, out of sight in the drawing, is my wedding ring, and my dad's wedding ring, which I wear on my middle finger. My hand rests on a beautiful turquoise and white quilt, made for me by a dear friend from my high school days, who was also responsible for setting me up on a blind date with my husband. She made and sent the quilt when I was going through some rough times with breast cancer treatment. There were many days I spent covered in that quilt, and feeling connected to Barb, and my past, and thinking about the present and future.
The day I took the photo I drew the picture from, I felt surrounded by love past and present, by those gone from my life, and those still a part of it. Past and present intermingled, and I drew strength from the thread of life, the continuity that was there even when I didn't realize it was.
And as I sorted through the emotions, the tempest in my teacup settled, and I sighed, took a deep breath...and relaxed.
Life is good, even when you don't realize it is...
I am @jonesbabie on Twitter and Instagram