Hi, folks, I'm continuing my March series called Reflection. I've spent the better part of my life tapping keys or scratching a pencil against paper. This week I'm going to dip into the cauldron where Art was born in me, the place where an unending fire started.
To understand how this got started, I'm going to give you a peek at when it began. It was in junior high school. During all my teen years, my dad was unemployed a lot and when he did work it was out of state. My mom suffered from serious depression. I didn't really have any words for what was happening. I just knew that most moms got out of bed and mine didn't. My best friend faced her daily share of difficulties too. Her father suffered from numerous grand-mal seizures and her brother had Down Syndrome. Our moms weren't there for us much through our teen years, and neither were our dads.
From the time we were 13-years-old, we had to take care of ourselves. I can tell you right now, we were afraid every single day. We lived and breathed, hoping against hope. Our hope was to someday have a stretch of days when we were not broken by circumstances. We were stuck in wildly rocking boats breaking apart on the coral reefs as we fought with every ounce of our being to find our way to a solid shore. We had to see beyond.
The thing that kept me sane? I breathed in books like air. I exhaled this same rarified air in the form of my words. I didn't start writing for anyone else but myself. I had so much bottled up -- the ground of me cracked open and an artesian well of words began to flow. It still flows.
My words seem inadequate, but I write today so that you hold to your vision and not worry if no one sees or believes in you. Remembering the days of pressure helps me keep moving forward at a writer. It helps me turn a blind eye to the fact that though many people have admired my work, no one has really connected with it in a way to give it a wide chance. I take the lessons of life and hope against hope. I let the Art flow.
I call this week's doodle "Self-portrait at 18."
The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all. Voltaire