PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Friday, February 03, 2006

Que Seurat, Seurat

If you know me at all, you know I love metaphors. Big, bright, colorful, gerber-daisy metaphors. Intricate, thread-woven tapestries of a metaphor. Imagery that evokes a visceral reaction, the connection between emotion and the mind, the vision & understanding appears in the listener's eyes.

Quite some time ago, I tried explaining myself to my father in a series of heart-to-heart phone conversations. One of those times, I explained my depression. I told him it's like the Furies, from Greek mythology. Those Greeks were on to something when they created those bitches. The Furies were sent to torture a mortal for their crimes, to drive them from one end of the earth to the other, with no rest. Unlike mortals, the Furies never tired. I think a light bulb went off in his head, because at my darkest point, it felt like no matter how I tried to move, to walk, to crawl, this evil weight would tear & scratch and push me down, immobilizing me in pain. I never heard voices, in the sense of a hallucination, but we have internal voices that put ourselves down, that dismiss our ideas, and put ideas and images and scary things into your mind. Sometimes, those voices tell you you're never going to get away from the Furies. Those voices are, I'm glad to say, wrong. Better living through chemistry - and if you need it, get it. It's that simple.

The other metaphor I love also comes from my own shortcomings. I struggle, as most people do, to step outside of myself, to be objective, to see events and interactions as expressions independent of me. Again, I explained to my father, for he did pay for those art history and studio art lessons, it's like viewing a Seurat. You know, the guy who did the paintings with all the tiny dots of paint? Like viewing a Seurat one inch from the canvas, and you can't move your feet. So all you see are these seemingly large blobs of paint that make no sense. Of course, this is why there's the term in art, called "perspective", and it applies to so much more than lines & the horizon. Because it is difficult, when you're in the midst of such a confusion, and you have two or three Furies clawing at you, and you're trying to figure out what you're looking at and all you can see is a black dot, you don't see the dog in the park and the lady with the parasol, or that you can bat the Furies out of the park with the proper assistance. Like the lady's parasol. Or good pharmaceuticals. I catch myself still, in work and my personal life, with my nose to the wall, seeing only a negative spot, seeing only a fraction of the big picture, and it's harder than hell sometimes to tear yourself away, to step back, to not obsess over that one dark purple spot that seems "wrong". As a species, we're exceptionally capable of being hard on ourselves.

Alright, this has gotten nice & heavy. :) I wrote most of it a few nights ago, after my insurance-prescription battle & I was grappling with some work conflict to boot. Happy Friday. I woke up and thought it was Saturday. That was a joyous perspective, for about 1 minute. Have a splendid weekend, and enjoy the big game on Sunday - and if not the game, then those pesky, yet funny, commercials!
posted by PlazaJen, 9:02 AM