Falling Apart to Grow Stronger

The last month has been challenging. I commited to making art instead of writing for a full month and a half, in order to bridge reality with the imagination, for all I know. I found new styles, engaged in both impressionist realism and poetic reevaluation, the promise of the greatest heights, and the difficult times, equally without looking away at the details. It wasn’t easy. I reached the absolute breaking point just two days ago, but I realized something when we finally left the house and went out for a walk. We walked through a garden, quietly, and I realized something. I was truly calm, calm to the depths of my being. We’re in a very challenging time, but the Olympics taught me about resilience, and the ability to keep going, even in the midst of what it feels like when you are really tested. We don’t always win, but we can always find inner strength from each difficulty to become stronger. I wanted to make work to inspire, to share my truth and all I feel. It’s better than any biography I could have written. I made peace with what I can materially say about the past, and offered insight into some of the experience that transcend the every day. Our world is so beautiful, and our voices so important.

The choice to make work in this crisis was important. It made feel completely alive, even within our quiet retreat here in the forest. I chose climate as the most important thing for me to focus on, and while the art making will continue someday, I am pausing for a bit. This was so much hard work. I was tested with the greatest possible difficulties. But I kept going, because I know just how important that is. All of us can help each other by sharing the best of ourselves, and when that work is treated with the utmost resilience and effort, it’s worth it. I often think that we have to be strong for each other, but yes, there is always a time we have to refocus, be honest with ourselves, and give ourselves some space. I only felt lost, in reality, for just a few hours, listening to music to help me through the experience. But today I finished my painting work, posted it, and moved on. I’m proud of the work, and without the Olympics, I wouldn’t have been able to face my fear, yet be honest when I need to take a mental health break, refocus, gather the strength I have and get back where I left off. I painted around 60 paintings in the last month, more than I have made in my life. It was worth it. I sold two paintings, finished a film, took a look at everything, and it was worth it. But that wouldn’t have been able to happen if I wasn’t honest when I needed time to heal. Did I fall apart? No. But turning to music for just a night was exactly what I needed. We can acheive so much, even when we need a bit of space. That’s what the Olympics taught me. If this becomes the wellness Olympics, that is perhaps it’s greatest legacy.

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