On The Verge of Madness

Being alive is the most perplexing thing. Being alive and always on the verge of something can be maddening. Being impulsive, being calm on the outside, manic within. Being a complete mystery while seemingly exposed. I think of all this, I think of how to document it and how to keep it all from looking like a hot mess. Or maybe it should look like a hot mess, maybe it should look like the truth, or get as close to the truth as is humanly possible. I think of all these things in the wake of the news of Robin Williams passing due to a possible suicide. He was a man who was seemingly exposed, exuding energy and intellect light years ahead of most of us. But on the inside he was not so exposed, he kept secrets, conversations that he only had with himself, conversations that would never see the light of day. We all have these conversations with ourselves, the ones that we dare not speak, the ones that if audible would shatter us to our core. I know this must be true, for why else are we as a species so tortured, why else do we have so much war and hatred, why else do we fear to go to those places that could ultimately heal us.

My best intentions have me joyous and light, barely touching the ground, leaving a very faint impression as I walk. Leaving a light impression within my mind and darker places. I want the joy, I mantra the joy day after day. Sometimes it is with me, other times there is just a haze of white noise in my head. This white noise is like the skin of an onion, deep with layers, yet most times I am only aware of a nebulous fog and the layers not so discernible. Not so touchable, not so easy to identify. and it is annoying this noise, it is scratchy and irritating and it is human. Perhaps too human, and I/we just live with it. We put our best foot forward and try not to fall. We are always trying not to fall. Rather than bouncing along embracing our joy, we are just trying not to fall. How did we get to this place, or is this just who we are, some more able to cope than others, but all walking the same path.

Artists live in their head. A blanket statement that makes the rounds, and in many ways it is true. We do live in our heads, we pick everything apart mentally. We must do this to create. Even when we are trying to be spontaneous we are navigating our spontaneity with a fine toothed comb. Artists are also observers, we have the ability to be in the middle and on the periphery at the same time. We have the ability to see ourselves as other, which allows us to work in a way that speaks to something more, something outside our own ego and desire. It is a fascinating world for most of us, but for some it is tragic and hard. I have known artists who's life trajectory was one of self destruction. Even when they were being brilliant they were also suicidal. Not in an immediate sense of the word, but in action, day after day. Is the man who drinks himself to death at an early age any less suicidal than the man who leaps from a building. Looking at it from this perspective we can see just how desperate so many of us are, and the lines are not clean and straight, or mapped. It goes back to that noise, back to those conversations we have in our head. The ones we do not share with the world or even those close to us.

As I sit here looking around the room and feeling the weight of my body in this chair, I am hopeful, and I am sad. I have much in life to keep me in this game and I do not want to miss a minute of it. Peace and Blessings to all as we walk the path on this amazing journey...

Liz ZornComment