How do you talk about Something that has happened when you are not allowed to talk about it? Something did happen. Not life or death. Not a horrible illness. Not a crime. But this something, though it did not change my life, changed me. It has made me sad, and thin, and fragile. The thin part is not so bad growing up, as I did, in a family where one could never be too rich or too thin. This Something has only affected two people (though it involved more), and one is me. It is a secret, which is not my choice.
The Something landed me back in therapy, for a short time. I have not figured out the lesson to be learned. I have not found a positive spin. Except, I am even more close to the family and friends who have been there for me.
The other positive is a surge in my creative output. I produced a series, not yet complete, which are a result of years of attempting to communicate through visual art. My Manuscript/Word drawings are the result.
The earlier Manuscript drawings were densely filled pages of random geometric and organic shapes. They had no formula. Each one looks like a sort of calligraphy but they are not words. After the Something happened, the Manuscript drawings became illustrations of the deep, visceral feelings I had. Since I was not allowed to speak of the facts to anyone, except in my therapists office, these drawings were a way to express what I felt and if you read between the lines, convey a story without text.
I love these drawings, which is unusual for me. I don’t often say that I admire my own work. I have gotten great feedback from my friends. I have only shown the drawings to one gallerist and he was not interested in exhibiting them. He felt they were too personal, and therefore too hard to sell. Most likely they will not result in sudden, long awaited success in the Art World. They won’t make me rich.
So, if I could, and know that I ask as a person who hates hypotheticals, would I go back to the date before this Something happened? I know that time, and apparently it’s going to be a long time, will help me feel less depressed, less wounded. The event will become a memory. The drawings will be my proof, my positive output, my visible, beautiful scar. They won’t change anyone directly affected by the something. They won’t give me ‘closure’ or vindication. But I would not have made these drawings if not for the Something.
Right now I don’t have an answer to my question. Most likely most people would like to hit a rewind button for some event in their lives. Science fiction stories have been written about the possibility. Usually the consequences are not good. The new outcome is worse than the event they hoped to erase or change.
I suppose in the end it doesn’t matter. I can’t go back. I can’t change anything. No lessons will be learned. But maybe for the first time in my life, and I am 57, I am grateful that at least I do have a way to honestly express myself. It is not nothing.