16 comments on my last entry! I am so heartened by the responds many of you left. I hope the rest of my visitors take the time to read them. I’ve spent the last week or so thinking about a way to respond. And I’ve decided to tell you my motivations for the last blog.
I think I know as well as anyone that solitude is really important for making art. It gives me space to grow ideas, improve my skills, get to know my materials better, stuff like that. But to my mind, solitude is different than loneliness. Solitude can be nurturing, loneliness is isolating. And I’m not sure that is a good thing. Read the responses. We want people to understand us. We are comforted when we know that other feel the same. Connection, even connection to other lonely people, is important.
I am fortunate. My husband, Terry, and I share a deep, sweet. *Cliche Alert * He is the love of my life. He is the tree I cling to in the turbulence of my depression, anxiety, and poor health. He is a marvel. But that’s a whole lot of pressure for one person to bear. It’s not fair how often he puts aside his own struggles in order to care for me.
In school, I experienced run of the mill torment by my peers and even a few times by teachers. A fat girl, I was called “Shamu” on the bus. I had a good vocabulary, so I was accused of reading the dictionary for fun. Which, to be perfectly honest, I did. But apparently, that wasn’t OK In third grade, when we learned cursive Mrs. Murphy (yes, I went to an Irish Catholic school!) told us our letters had to be perfect. Mine were. I spent hours erasing what I’d written, crying, tearing the paper to shreds with a cheap pink eraser. When I turned in the tattered but perfectly lettered practice sheets and Mrs. Murphy saw what I had done, she took me out in the hall and SCREAMED at me. I don’t remember exactly what she said, but the gist of it was that I had spent too much time on the homework. WTF?! Hadn’t she said to get it perfect?! Anyway, I’m 31 years old now, and it seems about time to move on. Most of these things happened over 20 years ago. Isn’t it about time to get comfortable in my own skin? Isn’t it about time to find a few sympathetic people and let them in? For the first time in my life I am beginning to really think so.