The Death of the Painting

fullsizerender-83I recently destroyed an entire canvas, a thing I haven’t done in a long, long time. And the weird thing is is that this canvas was ultimately about grief, about the cycles and nuances of the process of letting go–and of finding yourself new again. I had intended to keep this canvas, to show it, to even sell it maybe. But it turned out to be a majorly challenging thing that took me full circle in a way that I could not have ever planned or intended or hoped.

I had worked it and reworked it. It had so much paint, so much thought and patience layered in. But it bothered me day after day until I finally approached the canvas and was moved to destroy it. Once the impulse took ahold of me and I knew I wasn’t going to save the piece, I paid close attention and I learned that…

It’s ok to let go of something you’ve poured your heart into, that you were sincerely committed to for a long time, that you believed in and were sure it would ultimately work. It’s ok to let go, to admit that it just wasn’t going to pan out, that there were good parts and that you learned a lot and worked some shit out along the way. But now the right thing to do is let go. F-ing let go. Stop clinging to hope. Stop relying on the interlocking knotted up network of assumptions that holds you aloft in a disconnected trance. Stop obsessively revisiting the places that you just can’t f-ing resolve.Stop wishing for the magic to somehow click-in and make it all good. Stop trying to sand down the marks that are so permanent, well-run, over-known and overdone. Recognize that even if you surgically removed the unsolvable areas that absolutely don’t go right with your deepest knowing, the gaping holes would never ever make sense in the bigger picture anyway. Let the whole thing go. Walk away. Take a deep breath. Feel the relief. Be free again.

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