That part of “This.”

"I consider painting as a means of expression, not as a goal." Marcel Duchamp

<i>”I consider painting as a means of expression, not as a goal.” Marcel Duchamp</i>

Life is busy. I don’t have to tell you that, but I wouldn’t mind if you told me how on earth there is time for both The Things That Need Doing and The Things Your Heart Wants Doing. The kitchen, for example, needs some cleaning. Dinner needs to be imagined and created. Laundry needs to be folded and put away. The floors need to be swept. I need a shower.

Today I woke up at 5:20am and had to go back to bed by 7am. I had to go back, as in I had no control over my eyes crossing, seeing double and closing intermittently like the hazards at a railroad crossing. By 10:30 I was awake again and am now in the kitchen where a noon seat was needed.

The Things That Need Doing are plentiful. They could fill the day easily and heartily. My identity as an artist is largely compromised by that of a housefrau, followed closely by that of an Uninsured Person With an Incurable Illness. Thing is, I feel like I could be an artist if my energy levels would commit to longer spells of, well, energy; as it stands I am only halfway through imagining the two meals that need to be made in advance of an angry hunger that sneaks up and smacks down with the gnashing of teeth.

My motor skills used to be way finer.

My motor skills used to be way finer.

Ideally I would like to try to start setting aside at least 1 hour a day for art. 1 selfish hour, all mine. Maybe this is a pipe dream — my disability doesn’t keep me indoors every day and sometimes more important things will demand priority. I got that. Too long have I spent afraid to draw or paint (damaged fine motor skills and occasional intention tremor) and too long have I used my computer for idling on the internet rather than in Photoshop. Where my identity as an artist is compromised by the blows of culture is where my identity as an artist might lie. The ideas I have that are based on real experience? Maybe I should go with some of them instead of simply entertaining them. “Even bad art is art,” says my personal idol Marcel Duchamp.

I can ponder this more over a cutting board. Dinner won’t cook itself. When it does, there will be vegetable lo mein for an early dinner and a spinach salad caprese for a later lite meal.

from "Pyroclast" series

from “Pyroclast” series

I got this. Well, that part of “this.” The prozac I started taking (again for the first time since college) is for the daily anxiety attacks that are making life even more awful than it needs to be. An SSRI might be the best educated response to chronic, worsening anxiety… but until it begins working for that reason I’ve got a couple more weeks on unexpected cliff overhangs. The best I can do is be mindful of where my body takes me that I need not be. When I feel the pressure in my throat begin, it needs to be a Red Flag that inspired questions like “Is feeling this way going to improve the situation that caused it?” and “Is this going to matter a year from now?”

It will not matter a year from now whether I make dinner today.

Unless I make a habit of inactivity and a year from now I am in a major depressive state that increased the progression of my disease and oh God I need…

to calm down and take a shower.

There is food made, the dishes are clean and I am alone in the house. A shower is imminent. My computer is in the kitchen with me. What, me worry?

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