Monday, April 5, 2010

The Creation Of Art As A Gift And A Blessing.

Obsessing isn't necessarily bad in and of itself, it's what we choose as the object of our obsession. Art is one of my positive preoccupations - just like any other kind of obsessing, it pulls me into a time warp of complete fixation upon my subject.

I surface hours later, stiff as a board from sitting in one position, hand cramped, neck sore, feeling a satisfaction I find nowhere else in life. Art has been this escape into another universe for me, as long as I can recall.

Due to its engrossing nature, art can be an excellent recovery tool  when my mind will not quiet down through other means. I can't paint and worry - I need all my concentration to try to get that effect I'm aiming for. I'm completely caught up in it, and all the matters that seemed so important before I sat down at my worktable, fall silently away - I'm transported into a place of peaceful contemplation.

When I do stop, then all the minutae of daily life flood back in, and my critical voice starts up - I shouldn't have overworked that leaf, and the background is too blue, yada yada yada.

I've learned through years of working in various mediums, to plow through obstacles in my ability, and just keep doing another and another piece, regardless of my frustration level.
There have been many times when the only way I could see my progression was to haul out old pieces, and set them beside the new.

I've heard people talk in Al-Anon about feeling stuck, feeling that they are plowing the same ground interminably, while to the rest of us at the table, this person has made huge progress in their attitudes and abilities.

There are times when all I can see is my present dissatisfaction. I've forgotten (deliberately, in order to sustain my present sulky mood, or inadvertently, as is the way of humanity) the place from whence I came, its terrors and sorrows, and my vision is filled with the way whatever-it-is in the present doesn't fit my desires or specifications. All I can see is what isn't.

My spouse isn't doing what I want. My group isn't adopting something I suggested. My Higher Power isn't giving me what I prayed for. Life isn't the way I think it should be......and so on, you no doubt have your own list.

I was in this mood all day yesterday, feeling ill and out of sorts and grumpy and hard done by, and this morning felt only slightly better, until I read Mr.SponsorPants post of today, and burst out laughing - I'd been raining on my own parade since I first awoke, yesterday morning.

This is why it's so important for me to have daily reminders in the form of Al-Anon literature, meetings, blogs, and a sponsor - because even after all this time, I can still forget.

I need those jogs of my memory - I need someone pointing out that compared to where I used to be, life is a carnival nowadays, and what am I complaining about? Co-incidentally (right) I neglected to read any program literature yesterday, or I'd have found this reminder in the ODAT, page 96:

"The Steps are like a medicine which many of us won't bother to take, although we know they can heal us of the sickness of despair, frustration, resentment and self-pity. Why is this? It may be we have a deep-rooted desire for martyrdom."

Between that reading, and Mr.Sponsorpants' post, the message is loud and clear, and today, I can hear it. For that, I'm truly grateful.


  1. Hey, we may get better, but we never get well! We've just got to do the best we can and be grateful for "progress, not perfection" and the 10th Step. Have a good one!!

  2. I don't want to be a hostile martyr. I am much better at just accepting my humanness, shortcomings and all.

  3. I am also an artist and Al-Anoner. I can relate exactly to how you feel. While I am doing a piece I am in love with it but the next day I seem to hate it lol.

    Have you ever drawn at meetings? I have horibble attention issues and when I doodle on paper I never miss a word of what my fellow memebers say. I tried not doing it (because I didn't want people think I was not paying attention and rude) but by the 3rd spearker I zone out completely.