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The mind never stops running, processing, rehashing. Half the time I’m convinced true sentient AI is around the corner, simply because my mind never stops.
It’s 12:30 AM, Sunday morning, I’m washing my face. I don’t dwell on the past much these days. Far more interested in the present and future.
It occurs to me that the initial defining moment of my life, my mother deciding to leave my father with me in tow when I was less than a month old was the best possible outcome. She and my father had a disagreement on parenting. She felt he wanted to neglect me, he felt she was overcoddling and threatening my eventual independence.
In my mother’s shoes, I would leave as well. She knew my father. I finally got him into therapy when I was 24. It took a decade of me living in addict hell to help him think he might be wrong, ever. He hadn’t had that experience. She knew he wouldn’t go to therapy. Doubtless she asked as she had been and benefited.
My dad is, overall? A good person. He’s also the most stubborn asshole I’ve ever met. I inherited it, as did my son.
If they’d stayed together, we would have all been miserable. It’s unfortunate my mom demonized him because she couldn’t handle the nuance, but it kept her going as a single working poor mom for a long time. It’s unfortunate my dad’s genuine heartbreak influenced my opinion of both of them, but he did his damndest to hide it.
The pure absolute miserable hell that I suffered through, threw so much away out of fear and lack of ability to handle was the best option. No one is to blame. Pain with no blame has a certain lonesomeness, an echoing soft rattle.
And tomorrow, my life continues into the 37th year as if all of this is long past. Which it is.
I feel like I'm walking around with a great gaping bloody hole in my chest where my heart used to be. My scarf hangs over it, but sometimes when I'm talking it moves and you can see the wound.
Some people look sympathetic and say 'I'm so sorry' and carry on.
Some people smile and shrug and say 'well, I never liked your heart anyway'
Some people look away and pretend they didn't see anything at all.
Some people understand and let me say as little or as much as I want to about it. The words aren't really important, the talking and sometimes the crying is.
One concept I've learned in my higher education that I keep returning to because it hits me so powerfully is the concept of the artist's wound.
An artist's wound is a topic/theme that an artist keeps returning to because it's some sort of psychological scar they bear - a question about their past and present that haunts the artist but provides no answers.
That's why an artist might often write/draw/paint/sculpt the same themes over and over - they're trying to find an answer, either through the self exploration needed to create the piece, or just in the hopes that some one else can see the pain in their works and 'get it' - that maybe one person out there in the audience understands, and can tell them what they need to do to cure their demons.
Of course, the cure is never so simple - if it was, they would have figured something out already. But no - there usually isn't an answer, or at least not an easy one, and so the cycle continues.
I can see wounds manifest right here on the ether, even. Guilty as charged, but I'm not the only one either.
My wound is centered around my relationship with one person. Those who know me outside the ether probably already know who I'm talking about.
I love this person more than anyone else in the world, and know that she loves me - but know that nothing good will ever come from this, that we will never be together. I've tried to put her out of my mind, to do what she says and find someone else. So far nobody has had the same kind of magic she has. Not even close.
Maybe that's why I don't give a shit about sex. Nobody else is sexy. And I cared about her too much to do it with her when I had the chance.
She told me once that she would hurt me - she would be the one to hurt me, as much as it would kill her to do so, but she would. She was completely right.
And that's why I've found the word "wound" for it so perfect. Injuring someone, although metaphorically, is right there in the vocabulary of my particular wound.
The funny thing is that I think it in the end makes me kind of a terrible artist, because when I read my stories to people, they complain that it just sounds unfinished.
Because the guy never gets the girl. and magic doesn't exist.
"An artist's wound is a topic/theme that an artist keeps returning to because it's some sort of psychological scar they bear - a question about their past and present that haunts the artist but provides no answers."
This tugged at my heart-strings, thank you so much for this beautiful insight that has helped me understand a piece of me that seemed confusing. I often return to the same subject, and plenty of times wondered why.