Self-Medicating with Art
I spent a lot of time sitting at my desk today, taping pieces of scrap paper together.
I'd write a headline, then go ZIP with the adhesive roller. Product description. ZIP. PowerPoint slide. ZIP.
By the end of the day I'd finished a few small copywriting assignments and six or seven folios, which I'll eventually bind into a new art journal. I have two unfinished journals already sitting on my bookshelf. At this rate, I'll be eighty years old before I fill them all. But I needed something to occupy my hands and take my mind off the ever-present sinking feeling in my chest.
I forced myself to write morning pages, but they came out maudlin:
I feel like I'm in mourning. I keep looking for things to fix but I can't find any. Why mask the wisdom with pointless activity? Why not just wade into it, like it's an ocean or a lake?
More like stagnant water.
In this mindless taping, at least, I can float above the sadness. Give myself something pleasant to gaze at as I layer scraps together, leaving the decisions for this particular project to some thoughtless, primitive part of my brain.
After dinner I carried my stack of papers to the sewing machine and ran stitches down the taped-together parts. The tape is strong enough to hold the folios in place once they're bound. But I like the domestic look of pieces sewn together.
The toddler stormed into the bedroom to complain about the noise. When he saw what I was doing, he wanted to help. I showed him how the machine worked and let him put his foot on the pedal to make it go. When we'd finished sewing all the papers, he cried.
I knew exactly how he felt.