This Painting Transformed My Life

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FirstPaintingEverI painted it.

It may not look like much, but it is the most important thing I have ever done.

The past quarter of my time on this planet was spent in a state of existential crisis. On the surface, I had no discernable reason to be unhappy. I loved and was loved. I made my own way, lived outside the norm. Survived intractable and overwhelming problems. Everything was under control.

By all measures, my life was iconoclastically interesting, almost bohemian; surrounded by art and music.

I had long ago shed my illusions about the world in which we find ourselves, saw through the lies, saw through the reality we are groomed to accept.

A reality I no longer wanted to participate in.

I sat paralyzed into inertia and inaction, trying to make sense of my situation. I knew there was more, but could not find it. I was trapped between doorways.

At 12:05 am on February 18, 2014, I found the key.

I picked up a brush and began to paint. Something I had told myself I could never do.

With zero skill and even less confidence, I forced myself to make a mark on the paper. Forced myself to make another. And another. Forced myself to look at it when it was finished.

When I did, I saw something in that painfully tentative vortex of black acrylic that inspired me to keep going.

Over the next month, I painted 100 simple abstract black and white paintings on drawing paper. They were crude, unprofessional, and entirely unaesthetic by all conventional standards. But my goal was not to create art that others would like.

My goal was not even to create art that I liked.

I already knew what I liked.

What I was trying to do with these paintings was to see if I could create something that I might like.

I wanted to see if I could create new realities.

In the process, I began to create a new reality for myself. I experienced more joy than I ever imagined. My life and my soul expanded in ways I never thought possible. All arrived at by putting marks on paper.

I didn’t know it at the time, but this painting was a portal.

And this blog is for anyone who wants to find out what I discovered on the other side.

3 Comments

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