September 16, 2013

Friendships End, Art Idles

My posts, like my artwork and my mood in the studio, have been melancholy of late.  There is a huge hole in my heart and soul as I realize that a decades-old friendship has come to an end.  I'm not sure if the other party realizes this yet as I've been unable to have that final conversation.  After really thinking long and hard about the situation for the past few weeks, I've realized how great an impact my emotional state of mind has had on my ability to be creative. 

How do adults cut off friendships?  There was no big fight, no huge misunderstanding.  There were just slap-in-the-face signals that our friendship clearly didn't mean the same thing to her as it did to me.  I realized she just wanted me to say what she wanted to hear at the moment and I obliged, even when I felt it was the wrong thing to say and do, but because I was her friend and she needed to hear it from me.  I began noticing the pattern of every conversation always being about her and the drama in her life and she never, ever asked about me, my life or my family.  I would volunteer information, but with a brief nod of her head and little comment, the topic would turn back to her drama.  Worse, her drama revolves around issues that suggest that her rulebook of life for herself is filled with blank pages, and she doesn't want to hear anything more than, "You go, girl!"  and "You deserve to do whatever you want, right or wrong, if it makes you happy right now."  I can't do it any longer.  I just can't.  I see her family suffering and she appears to believe the problem is theirs alone or someone, anyone, else's fault, and to which she doesn't contribute at all.  I watch a relationship developing that I fear will eventually no longer serve her purpose, but I won't be there to say, "You go, girl!"  But I'll be thinking, "I told you so."  I won't say it out loud, but I'm already thinking it.  For now, I go through the baby steps, the sophomoric stuff that I have the courage to do like removing photos from our shared social media site.  I cried while I did it, but the gesture spoke volumes - I'm at that point.

Why does this effect my art?  Or my ability to be creative?  I've never thought of my being creative as being tied in with my personal happiness.  When I worked full time, I spent so much time fretting that I was dying to be creative and miserable that I didn't have the time to exercise those demons.  Now I have a lot of time to be creative, and I sit at my studio desk surrounded by the materials I need for literally dozens of various projects, but my mind is blank.  I resort to pulling out fabric, seeking comfort in the distraction of having to measure and cut precisely.  If I have to cut 28 strips of 1-1/2" white fabric and make sure they are identical and flawless, I can't also think about how sad I am.

While my artistic self is idling, I have to figure out how to wrap up these sad loose ends.  Maybe after I do that - just RIP off that bandage - I'll be free emotionally to invest in creativity again.  I just have to find the courage to rip off that bandage.  Sooner would be better than later.  I am so incredibly sad for both of us.  For many years, she was a true, wonderful and giving friend.  The scales are just too out of balance for me to be able to say that any longer.