Last night I did this self-portrait. Sometimes when I can’t find the words for what I want to express I turn to photography. It’s like if I can capture what I’m feeling in a concrete way then maybe I can see it, confront it, and cage it. After I finished I felt better, but still a little shattered. I slept, heavy sleep…the kind that makes you wonder whether the dream is real or the waking is the dream. I dreamt that God had a nervous breakdown and ended up an artist living in middle America, creating clay figures of the people he imagined fought the cosmic battle of good and evil. He was lonely, but content until one day a few of the people he thought he’d only imagined came to his door. They saw the table of clay figures…a table which stretched on and on with faces filled with hope, revenge, gentleness and rage. God, still unable to admit to himself who he really was, assumed that he was perhaps psychic, just a small poet re-creating small-scale worlds and voices. In a fit of loneliness he sculpted a small child…a little girl that he wished could have been his daughter and a few moments later she walked in, laughingly reminding him that he’d forgotten breakfast again. He realized it then. That he was God. That what he’d tried to escape from before he’d simply recreated again. That he was who he was and that it was good. Then he took all the figures, dipping them in water, returning them to clay, reshaping the clay ball that they had all come from. When he was done he felt a profound sense of calm. He walked out of the studio and into nothingness. And it was good.
There was something to that dream that made me feel calm. I felt a peace I hadn’t felt in a long time. Maybe it was a reminder that I’d once believed that everything happened for a reason. Maybe it was a sense that there is no death, only change. Maybe it was this new and alien feeling I had that perhaps God was real. Maybe it was the codeine in the cough syrup.
Whatever it was, I feel better. I think I’m on my way back out. I can see the light.
PS. Thank you so much to everyone for your support. I can’t tell you what it means to me to know that I’m not alone.