I have been… very ill. I have a brain tumour – it is NOT cancerous, but it is kinda huge and takes up about a sixth of my brain.
Most of my life it caused extremes of bipolar, and epilepsy when I was a child, but about eight years ago I began suffering from chronic pain.
Though it is not possible to spell PAINT without PAIN, and I have always found this meaningful to the point of prophetic, I did not expect what would – what COULD happen
Being mad was… worse. I barely survived, each year. It was by luck, and yes, strength. But no matter the mania or despair, I would force myself,
brutal as a driven spear, to work, to paint, to paint and
paint and paint.
I could. I did.
It defined who and what I was.
Then this nasty lesion in my big missing brain piece mysteriously changed its effect.
I learned what physical agony meant. It is vaguely termed ‘neuropathic pain.’ For the last eight years, I have felt quite literally as if my skin – usually my arms, my hands, the souls of my feet, and my face – was an open wound.
And I could not paint.
I painted badly.
For four years, five years, six years, I painted, and painted, and destroyed what I had made by the occlusion of my vision as the pain tore from me my sight. Stole the skill in my hands in a bloody red invisible illusion.
I gave everything I had.
And it broke me. It BROKE me.
I thought that I could fight anything, could hold my head high through the worst disability, the most crucial and visceral loss.
Anyhoo, I did complete a few works during this time, that I know and see as beautiful, that twist at my heart as true art might. As it should.
As it fucking SHOULD.
This is one of those pieces.
I took a photograph of it, just before it was stolen from me by some aboriginals with such hatred in them that they shamed, they disgraced, the dignity of their race.
There were many more small works that were wrung from my
hands in that unambitious sketchbook.
I do not know what they felt when they saw these works.
Perhaps they coveted them when I showed them. They spurned them certainly… I… do not think that they were something that they wanted for themselves. I think that they saw something that had been
made with care and heart and work and hated it, as they hate so much.
They stole the sketchbook, my phone, other things that do not matter. The pictures. The paintings. They are gone.
Now I am finishing the last chapters of a BOOK.
And it is fucking awesome.
I have not painted for more than a year. I have buried the paint in the colossal, towering beauty of words.