It was winter in college, and I was horribly depressed. I didn’t want to do anything but sleep all day. Whenever I forced myself to go outside, all I saw was gray. Clouds in the sky, trash in the gutters, nothingness all around me. Anguish. Everything was painful.
One afternoon, I felt a sudden overwhelming desire to paint. I found the school supplies section of the local grocery store, grabbed some crayola watercolors, and rushed back to my apartment.
I started painting, and for the first time in weeks I felt alive.
I painted and painted. I painted flowers and dancers and the ocean and myself. I painted reds and yellows and fiery oranges, I painted frenzied visions of life and dreams and what music would look like if you could see it, and I painted my very soul on a canvas. My art was passionate, and it was beautiful, and it brought me back to life.
And then when everything dried, I put all of the paintings away in a box, and I put the box away my closet. My art was beautiful, but I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t think I could ever show it to the world.
I have never thought I could show that part of myself to the world. I didn’t know how to explain it. That was definitely not my only bout with depression, and that was not the only time I’ve been stricken with a sudden and overwhelming desire to create art. I have so many beautiful works of art hidden in my closets, hidden in the attic, but they’ve never seen the light of day.
About two months ago (near the winter solstice) I had a terrible week, and I started drawing again. After a few frenzied days of creation, I looked around me and thought, “I’m not hiding them anymore. This is who I am, and it’s time.”
I still can’t explain it, but I don’t care anymore. It’s time to share this part of me with the world. This is who I am, and it’s time I share it with the world.