The past few days have been exceptionally rough in the morning when I first stand up. The sciatic pain or arthritis pain or old age pain or fat-relocation-when-I-go-vertical pain has rendered my left leg non-weight bearing. Whatever the cause, when I stand up it takes time for me to be able to walk and make it down the stairs to the rest of my home. It is an ugly time of day. This morning I was woken at 6 by a howling pug in a crate, screaming with authentic misery at his need to get out and go the bathroom. I have potty stations available downstairs, so rather than have him be as miserable as I was, I used my feet to open the crate and let him out. Like a bullet he ran downstairs.In about two minutes he returned to the upstairs level, tail wagging, wanting to go back to bed.
Now I knew some atrocities would occur when he went downstairs, but I was not prepared for what I found. I will not fully describe. Let’s just say that I’ve started using Walmart Flushable Wet Wipes to clean doggies and their issues, and I used an entire package for clean up. Toby did not find it necessary to visit the allotted doggie mess space, which already makes me sick to have to have in the house. Instead, he visited not one, not two, but three different favorite locations to relieve himself of his burden. All the while I was upstairs gimping back and forth trying to get my leg straightened out so I could go downstairs to get him out. At 10.5 years old, Toby has provided me with a domestic first. A clogged toilet. Yeah, I know I could have flushed it away differently, but I was in pain myself and not thinking super-clearly. Touche, Toby, Touche.
As I write this he is asleep on his bed at my feet, looking guilty. And adorable. And disgusting. He should feel guilty. Reason #162 why Toby’s passing will be a mixed blessing. And, knowing how my life goes, reason #162 why he will live to be seventeen. I have never met a more maddening, yet loveable, animal in my life.
So, I am trying to restart the day with my cappuccino. I’ve let Boncuk out for some private momma shoulder time. He is snuggly and wants kisses on his little soft self today. He is so small compared to the other birds, almost weightless as he perches next to my face. Occasionally he tugs at my hair or investigates the inside of my ear, He answers every word I direct his way with a little chirp that sounds like “Yup!” So sweet. Between that and pain meds, I can get going and reverse the Toby curse.
I experimented with paint-therapy the other night. My pain levels were off the charts Thursday night including hands. I wanted to just go to bed at 7:30pm. So, I decided to grab a canvas and play with no expectations of creating Real Art. Just paint. For fun. Within minutes I was lost in my good audiobook and the colors, layering, chasing shape edges, mixing tones, and just MAKING SOMETHING. I know my paintings will never reach a level of artistic “accomplishment” that makes me personally enriched, but I have to say in all honesty, the act of painting let me forget about my pain. Truly just the act of painting for a couple hours shoved the pain stimuli to the brain basement and when I finished I couldn’t believe the difference. And I had an image to show for it.
I know I’ve been avoiding art this week a little bit, and that my style and form is in a period of change. Maybe more paint needs to be part of the picture (ba-dum-dum.) Here’s the little result. I’m playing with my mummiform people/spirits again. These came out a little awkwardly shaped, but maybe that is the way we all were feeling on Thursday night. I see more of these little guys on the horizon.
I think this even has some meaning in that I was toying with the idea of going to NYC for a couple days and it ultimately didn't work out. Hence the null-set in the upper left and the cityscape background. Hmpf.
I see why and how Paul Klee made so much art, and how it was all so different. He just showed up and did it, day after day. I’m sure he had painful days where he didn’t want to do anything, either, But he did. The result is evidence of a lifetime creatively lived. The threads of imagery and form emerge at the end of the road, not during the journey. And that’s okay. I have to get my brain in the creative zone daily to manage this RA dragon. I’ve read Klee’s diaries and can’t remember reading much about how he dealt with chronic pain (scleroderma.) I bet his art helped him escape into a better place, too. Cheers.