Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Friday at 10.10.10, Tribehouse event

On Friday Novemeber 2nd I strutted up on stage in 3.5 inch black patent heals. I was one of ten artists to present my story at the Tribehouse event 10.10.10. That night at Bottega in front of about 150 people I revealed a secret, I have bipolar II. "I'm a high acheiver", I said, "It's not just ordinary Bi-polar, it's TWO". My self diagnosis is "artist"....... wow, what a reaction! everyone clapped and cheered, I honestly couldn't believe it. On I trudged with my story,
"I have a messy brain, here's me in my studio with my creative chaos"

"don't let another day go by without telling someone they are magnificent"

 blog post #1 that I read:
A terrifying scenario: I'm shaking today so that when I draw, the lines are squiggly. When I stand up the room spins a bit, just until I adjust to the upright position. When I'm with other people I try to control the shaking and the shaking gets worse. I wonder what it must look like that I tightly cross my arms and attempt to hold my head steady.  This is what it is to have Bi-Polar II. To be mostly out of control of your faculties. To wonder if you can hold a pen or paintbrush, to sense that your bladder might give way at a completely inopportune moment  or to know that everyday you will make poor decisions that circularly lead back to shaking. The hardest part is looking backwards and seeing the clear and steady path toward mania and realize you were the last one to see it. And to be overtaken by an evil and wicked force that makes the world feel hostile, hellish. When you begin to screw up and lose control you wonder if you will have a friend or a mainstay again. It's so easy to forget that you've been here before and you got through it..... it's a tunnel shaped like a funnel and as you methodically stride in the direction of the narrow end it's impossible to see the goodness of creation. I suppose this is where the 'Bi' in it lives, that the up becomes the down. You can't really have one without the other you can only hope that with experience it isn't as black as the last time...... the 'jaws of the black dogs' will release a bit easier than the last time. To choose Love over Fear is what I wish for today, only that. When the fear is Goliath and behemoth and the Love is a tiny speck, I have to rely on the word of those around me and have blind faith that these thoughts are lies.

I'm choosing transparency and full disclosure, this time, so that the others.... my partners in mental illness can feel camaraderie.  I know, we frighten you in our unpredictability, intensity, electricity. But, I can tell you that for the first time in 45 years I understand that I belong and I deserve to hold a space regardless of my craziness. Go ahead, be threatened but know that I am here to mirror something in you; your own craziness maybe or creativity, instability or need for compassion. I am here to feel deeply the details of the pulse of the Earth and then to bring them back up as art. It's my job and the penalty is that sometimes the layers of overwhelm overtake, my brain is a soup of swirling ideas and my body is not my own to navigate this place.

I do wish for someone who won't be afraid of me and who can see that these times are when the genius resides and bubbles over. Someone who will see, for me, when I can't, that I can blow the top off of sanity for a short while in order to make something bigger than us all. For us all. Delusions of grandeur or maybe a moment in time that is meant to be.
If I had the flu or cancer or a broken leg you'd bring me chicken soup  but I don't. I have faulty wiring in my brain and therefore, I'm alone. My disease isn't recognized as a disability because sometimes I function very well (better than average) but then there are times like this when the tiniest of tasks is impossible. I haven't been able to hold a real job for over 20 years, I'm an artist, a painter.
I ask you to take this in just a little and hug someone you love a little longer. It will ripple out.
    
 • "Let's not go another day without telling somebody they're magnificent. We're sitting in a room absolutely full of artistic genius."

blog post #2.

Have you ever watched a butterfly just after it emerges from it's chrysalis and is a fully intact amazing creature but not quite yet sure of it's flying ability? It sits for a time slowly moving it's wings up and down........up and down............ up and down and then suddenly, as though it's done it for 1000 years,  lifts and floats away in a blur of brilliant colour. I think that's me, now. I'm sitting at the end of the dock just emerged from a long slumber and my wings are testing.... up and down...... up and down........ up and down. I haven't yet believed the moment that comes next. I think we are not prohibited to believe it because it is going to be so much more magical and wonderful than anything ever previously known. It is going to be huge. Possibly heavenly. I was given a glimmer of the fear I've left behind so I won't forget that it's behind me. Its talons used to grip me mercilessly for months at a time but that bird has officially flown the coop. I NEVER will feel that fear again, A new excitement of risk has taken its place. What a wonder is this world.

~standing O.......... it felt great!



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