Art Became My Therapy When Life Kicked Me in the Teeth
Or how your mind can heal when you immerse it.
Filing away stubborn corners in my sculpture, I came to terms with a thunderbolt that had cracked my life wide open.
Obsessing over extracting the right shape out of an unwieldy soapstone block taught me about creating a new life from the smoky embers of my old one.
“Art is coming face to face with yourself.” — Jackson Pollock
In my late twenties, I thought my life was sorted — the way society expects of a young woman.
My new job was stimulating. I had fun-loving mates and co-owned a light-filled apartment with my boyfriend. The duplex boasted a small roof terrace, just big enough to accommodate two friends and a large bottle of something fizzy.
Then one Mayday, a long day had merged into a stifling commute, and something happened. A news story about a missing local young woman and her daughters had everyone on edge. The atmosphere seemed charged that day — a foreboding of what was to come?
Still, it was Friday and I had a long weekend ahead. But my cheerful mood evaporated after I had turned the key. Immersed in work, I temporarily forgot about my partner’s somber moods that permeated the apartment. Even the playful darts of light streaming through the large curtainless windows couldn’t shift his black dog. The place was heavy with rumination.
Wilted flowers lay on the table, loosely wrapped in a cellophane jacket. My partner was sprawled on the sofa, dressed in his tattered blue dressing gown. He couldn’t bring himself to hand them to me, but fat droplets illuminated his pale cheeks as I examined them. Then he muttered something I’ll never forget:
‘I can’t pretend any longer. I need to get out of this life and start something new. I have to break this so I can be happy’
What to do when your life shatters
That bombshell sent me to bed where my tears quietly soaked the pillow. After a fitful sleep, my now ex-partner hovered, wondering how I was feeling, which you may agree was kind of…