TASK #39: BY THE NUMBERS
Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere. G.K. Chesterton
One day I woke up and sat on the edge of the bed. I was in a bad place. I thought that my life was worthless. I was accomplished at “getting by”, but nothing else. I had a decent job–meaning that I made enough money to get by, but it was a corporate job, which meant that I was one insignificant cog in a huge machine, and it was a job that called for repetitive competency, not creativity, and it bored me.
If you do the same job, over and over, for a number of years, regardless of whether the job is picking up garbage or making burgers or selling cars or repairing washing machines, or in my case, writing pointless e-mails, it’s just getting by….and it will slowly begin to tear away at your soul.
And sitting there on the edge of the bed, having those thoughts, depressed me. And worse, I didn’t know how to rescue myself. I
couldn’t conceptualize the problem, let alone solve it. So I decided to visualize it–give my depression a form.
So I painted a picture of the problem. Actually, more accurately, I gave color to my problem. It isn’t pretty. It has a black and red circle in the middle and some yellow lines circling the circle, and some purple…well, slashes here and there, but it works for me. I know exactly what it means.
Your task is to paint your own picture that expresses, visually, what is taking place in your life this week. Find a big piece of paper, or cardboard, even if you have to rip it from a box, or flatten out a shoe box, or get a hunk of wood. Get some oil paint or water paint or house paint, or crayon or chalk, and find something to use as a brush, or use your fingers. Then sit in front of your canvas and think about your life. Think about what makes you mad or depresses you or makes you crazy. Draw “it”, or “her” or “him” or just use colors to express your feelings like I did.
I hung my painting in the basement where I could look at it time to time. You can display yours or hide it or destroy it, whatever.
Photos by Sudipta Mallick and Joe Doe (Artwork titled, “Belonging Bad Kitten.”)