The Closest I’ve Come

It was about three years ago when I first felt it. Or maybe remembered it is more accurate. It was like I had disappeared and all that was…

Black and white image of a man sitting on a bench for article titled “the closest I’ve come”

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

It was about three years ago when I first felt it. Or maybe remembered it is more accurate. It was like I had disappeared and all that was left was the drawing.

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I’m at my best when I’m alone.

I’m most comfortable here.

I define my best as when I am most comfortable, relaxed, without drama or felt need to perform or control.

Maybe I was born that way, maybe I developed that way, or maybe it’s a bit of both.

Nonetheless, it feels like home when I am alone.

Not that I would rather be without a family. They are an expression of me. A creation of mine in couple with Joanne. It’s more to do with a place where I can be more myself than when I am with others.

With others, I am diluted. A blend of me and an expectation of what I should be.

It’s late here now and the kids are asleep.

Joanne is out but she’ll be home soon then I’ll be some other version of me.

I can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps I never will and that’s alright. I’m not supposed to for if I did I would cease to exist.

For now, I exist, in change, in flux.

Maslow talks about the authentic self, a self-realised self. A self in harmony with itself and the environment. A psychic state where the I that I think I am disappears and I merge with my truest self.

I have been there once. It’s the closest I have come to what I understand Maslow to mean.

I don’t draw very much these days but when I do I find I disappear. I seem to go where Maslow describes.

Writing is different but similar in many ways.

I dive into the contrast of the picture or the story and I can see the black and the white of the thing.

I am so deep that nothing else has my attention. In fact, to talk about conscious attention is silly because there is no me in there, no separate me to focus whatever attention is.

It’s just a happening and it’s only when I come out that I can observe that something was done.

It is then that I come back into being, into separation, into a dichotomous state of mind that I can, through time, observe that something happened.

When I’m in there is nothing.

When I am out something is created.

So it seems that there is, in this toing and froing between states of consciousness, a creative process that I am somehow in harmony with.

It's happening now, in and out, I create time and there is movement and words land on the page (screen).

In truth, I have to say I am reluctant to go there.

I’m not sure why exactly, maybe I will realise who I am and I am not ready for that yet.

I have considered taking some black and white photos, high res, of my parents and drawing them in large format. I think that could let me inside them, to know them before they leave.

They will someday.

There is a connection made I find when I am drawing someone, even though they are not there physically. There has to be a connection for how else can an artist make them appear on the canvas.

So minds traverse time and space.

There is a stage when I am writing or drawing where I look at what I have produced and I think, this is terrible.

There’s no structure, no form, no shape. This is amatuer.

Then I try again, I go back in.

Or rather it takes me in, that something that brings me to the keyboard or to the canvas and I engage with it.

It takes over and then something happens.

Well, something is always happening but all of that happening seems to come to a head and then there’s something decent on the page.

I really don’t know what that is because as I explained, that me that I think I am disappears and it’s only later I see something has occurred.

Now that thing might not be world-class, but it is something nonetheless.

Nothing else matters.

Yeah, we’ve gotta make a living blah blah blah…

But from the perspective of creative work, nothing else matters.

I suppose the reason I keep coming back here to the screen is that thing that draws me in, and even though compared to the world I may not be judged to be relevant, it doesn’t matter.

What matters is that I am engaged now and following what calls.

Now is all I have.

It’s the only chance I have to come close.

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