Those days are over. Although, I must admit – being happy and content in my current relationship doesn’t add much inspiration to my creative process. Feels weird. Old habits are hard to break.
I have a new heartbreak. My father has dementia. I’m struggling with how to deal and accept this new world reality. I only see him about every three months – as my folks live in Oregon and I’m down here in New Orleans. Being home for a week or so – only allows me to see the current crisis that is playing out. I think if I was there all the time – I might see it differently, I don’t know.
Everyone is suffering. Everyone is suffering in silence. My family doesn’t talk. The communication is stifled by the lack of dealing with uncomfortable emotions. All suffering – but none of us can come together as a family for support. We all must go elsewhere. Whether it is to a Facebook group – or books – or to simply allow it to fester in our own hearts and heads…we are very much alone. This aloneness is not my choice.
As an artist – I deal with a lot of situations via the brush and canvas. Painting has been my savior for so many of lives obstacles. For what I cannot work out or have words for – I turn to painting.
How do I paint dementia? How do I paint confusion, fear and the unknown? I don’t see a face when I think of these things – I see the colors of my nightmares. What does mental and cognitive loss look like? What does the panic my mother has to deal with – look like? What does it look like to feel so helpless? What does this disease, which is slowly pushing the family apart – what does that look like? The loss of freedom – the loss of connection – the loss of what could have been – what does all this look like? I don’t have the answers.
How am I going to paint this out? If only tears could show up on canvas I’d have it made.