art appreciation // 3 : corners

I’ve been thinking a lot. I’ve been writing, too. I can hardly put the pen down these days which is such a huge development for me. 

It’s as if, all of the sudden, the past six years of my life that I’ve spent in California are finally coming into focus - like I was standing too close to a Seurat painting and all of those little dots never coalesced until I stepped back and saw the whole picture.  

George Seurat, Detail from Circus Sideshow (or Parade de Cirque) (1889)

I’ve realized about myself that I’m a bit of a masochist.  I continually put myself in tough situations knowing it’s going to be a bumpy road yet, there I go… I repeatedly will paint myself into corners and won’t ask for help while everyone sits back and watches me contemplate the corner and how I got there.  To beat this analogy into the ground, how does one get out of a corner they’ve painted themselves into?  

Two answers:

1. you wait for the paint to dry…of course this is after you’ve been sitting there for god knows how long, applying coat after coat of different colors trying to get a different result, sifting through escape strategies in your mind. And once you’ve run out of paint and every tacky layer has dried, you finally walk away with very little energy and pride left to spare.

2. you say, “fuck it” and walk through the wet paint. Even though you’ll have paint all over your feet and you’ve ruined all that work you’ve done, you will have your pride….and an awful mess to clean up.  

    From my experience, it is much less hard (note I’m not saying “easier) to clean up a big mess than to regain any lost pride.  The ego is a very delicate apparatus. 

    Where am I going with this?

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s OK to walk away. Life’s hard. Don’t make it doubly hard by painting yourself into corners. Start from the inside and work your way out.