Art imitates life

I’ve been struggling for some time to identify the feelings that have been running through my mind. They’re all so familiar, yet in some sort of foreign and unknown configuration. Like if my normal dysfunction is a Rubik’s Cube, then my current dysfunction is that same cube jumbled up. I haven’t been able to place it and explain what’s wrong.

Normally it takes the form of my standard depression. Encompassing sadness, deep and wide, swallowing me like the ocean. It’s all too known to me, like an old friend you’d rather not see, but they always find their way to you. Once in their company, you talk through the night and tear open every wound.

But no, this time it’s different. There’s an irritability; one that leaves me unable to act or interact. There’s a maddening dissatisfaction that renders everything to not only fall short of joyful, but to somehow be a small, unsurprising letdown. Then there’s the apathy. I’m dissatisfied, but not enough to care; enough to feel the bristle of irritation, but not enough for the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Sometimes life is love without joy. Sometimes it’s hate without anger. Sometimes it’s clamoring for routines while despising a schedule. Duality defines everything, because for a positive there is always a negative. But sometimes, just sometimes, the duality isn’t between light and dark, it’s between light and light.

Apathy pulls the substance from experience and leaves it a hollowed out version of itself. You get half of everything, split down the middle. So you get dichotomy of love and joy. You feel the distance between them, even though they’re so often intertwined.

In a sense, the numbness of apathy is actually a greater depth of emotion, no matter how shallow it feels. How many people have the opportunity to break down emotions, not into separate definitions, but to the individual ingredients within those definitions? Like a trained palate eating a complex dish, the apathetic mind has the ability to dissect and separate out emotion.

This isn’t praise or admiration, this is me trying to make sense and find a positive in the shitfest I’ve been feeling. Someone recently told me they miss my positive posts and the encouragement I gave to others. My wife has been telling me that for months, but I haven’t seen a way back to it for some time.

This is a bleak attempt at positivity, and I know it. I won’t pretend this is encouraging or motivating. The closest thing I would say is encouraging about this is what it says to other people who experience this. You know, the message or whatever. And here is that message:

This is the art of life. At times it can be bright and loud, echoing from hilltops; and other times it’s grey and muted, and sound is swallowed in the void. No matter what piece is next in the show, we take it in and experience it. Because that’s what you do with life. Sometimes you love it, sometimes you hate it, and sometimes it makes you feel nothing. Just like art.

And no matter how bad art can be, we always want more, because what is life without it? And no matter how bad life can be, we SHOULD want more, because what would art be without the experiences of life, both good, bad, and indifferent? Art imitates life, so paint with the strokes of your experience, and create your masterpiece around what you have lived. Life also imitates art, so make your life your masterpiece of what you have created.

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