Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I have neither written nor drawn since May. I am not sure why I stopped. I know I have been depressed but lots of people use art when they feel lost as a way to develop focus. Instead, I retreated and turned sullen. During many daylight hours, I withdrew by fishing and, late into Summer evenings, I worked intensely on my stamp collection. This routine guaranteed isolation and lots of silence. I didn't need to deal with issues of complicated personal and familial relationships nor angst about my mortality. The other day, during a particularly disconsolate mood at Washington Park in Portland, I looked at my sketch book and realized sadly I hadn't drawn in a long time. I remembered  how much joy sketching had given me and felt wretched that  I had squandered the progress I had made months ago. Then I remembered how several people had mentioned recently they had missed my writings. I hadn't even had the energy to explain honestly why I had stopped my posts other than by saying that I had taken a break. I still feel a paralyzing lack of purpose and dulled emotions only not as strong as before. I wanted to change. It occurred to me that the best way to rekindle a zest for life and to rediscover creativity was to  plan  a new travel adventure. In the past, the weird mixture of elation and fear resulting from visits to exotic places has been a tincture for stimulating art and joy. In the past I usually  had a particular work-related purpose  for one of these journeys. This time I am the solitary bear going over the mountain.  My job, Tapirgal encouraged,  is to record my unique vision or voice even stronger than ever before and to run with it. Raksha similarly urged me not to look for a purpose and more or less follow the Nike vision of "Just Do It!" and display my portfolio regardless. My direction will emerge without me really knowing where I am going or why. It is time to embrace the value of process more than expecting to see reason..

It is more important to publish this post than any other. I have put on my tennis shoes, found a trail, and now I have to take my first step. I feel worried. Do I have it in me to get back in shape and express myself again? In less than two weeks I leave for Southeast Asia. I will explain my itinerary later. It's the inner journey that I have begun today. "Holy Crap", I have no idea where I am going.


  1. I'm very glad to see that you've made a start on tour blog again. I think you've expressed yourself very clearly and well. Your writing is stronger than ever. I believe you will find joy and satisfaction again through the various forms of self-expression you do so well. Writing is certainly one of them.

    As for your journey, it sounds very exciting, and I know you will enjoy your amazing experiences to come. I appreciate that you want to share them. I was going to wish you well along whatever path you choose, but I realized that "path" and "choosing" may be the wrong concept here. I believe you will find joy in each unfolding moment in which you create, express and connect. I believe these moments will bring you happiness rather looking for fulfillment by focusing on the goal. I said it better earlier, but the blog ate my comment. Apple doesn't seem to play well with Blogger :-(

  2. I read your post twice in my inbox before venturing onto Blogger to post a comment. My initial response was that it seemed so personal, it almost felt as though I should reply by email rather than posting a public comment. I have to say it takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there like this. When I'm in a negative mood--and I have been lately, VERY similar to what you've been going through--my tendency is likewise to stop communicating, to withdraw from contact with people. The thought of writing a new blog post seems out of the question.

    A big part of the reason I haven't put up a new post on my own blog is because of the enormous technical difficulties I had getting the last ones to post correctly, because my antiquated IE7 browser was no longer supported by Blogger. Also, I've been unable to upload pictures for months. But both of those problems were solved a month ago when I had Windows reinstalled, so whatever else is going on is clearly an inside job.

    I agree with tapirgal that "path" and "choosing" are not the concepts you should be focused on right now. I know they aren't for me anyway. I constantly have to remind myself (like about 50 times a day) that I don't have to *try* by a conscious effort or act of will to be who I am. That happens by itself. Everything I've learned, and every talent I have, is still there. None of it has gone anywhere. All I have to do is to stop blocking it as I've obviously been doing.

  3. Southeast Asia? That sounds exciting!

    I think we all go through periods in our life where our usual pursuits just don't seem to match up to our needs at the moment and we can't quite figure out exactly what direction we should take. Depression is strange but perhaps you needed that time to "fish" or rather not do whatever it is you thought you should do. I also think that perhaps you missed the traveling - new people, new places, etc.

    I'm glad to see that you are back blogging. I've checked every so often. Now, I shall look forward to your posts and your insights. When in college I remember studying a psychologist who said something to the effect that "whatever we think most personal, is most general." So , when you express your feelings you can bet that a lot of people feel very much the same.

    Best wishes and I'll be hanging around.

  4. Hi Lee...I was re-reading this post and it came to me that I don't really know where I'm going, either, but I'm making good time! :-))

  5. Lee just put one foot in front of the other and you are on your way. See----!!! MB

  6. Hi, Lee! Thanx for your comment this morning! You should be in Ocala now - it was 57 degrees this morning! Yeah!