Image of Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA, by the author, who ran here alone.

“Art is a wound turned into light,” (Marina character in the movie ).

Sometimes a mirror and reinforcement breaks the desire to remain. Seeing oneself through another’s eyes is often the only way to see. The Jo Hari Window concept talks about four panes of a window: How you see yourself, How the world sees you, How the world and you see yourself, and that which is unknown. The point is to get into a place, where you can see yourself as the world sees you, or to open yourself completely. Some of us cannot see how pathetic we might appear because we live alone and no one, who can see us is close enough to share their view. Unless we piss them off and they are vindictive, they may never say anything, just observe.

I understand this gloom. I am not broken by it. I work to change it because it is well-known. I read an article today ( about why women do not choose certain men, and a couple of reasons really resonated with me, mainly a negativity that I possess. I think we are all well-aware, my regurgitation should not be so damning. It is not so simple. I see where it started. I know its source. My father died when I was ten and as my therapist said, at that point I became “the emotional adult of the family.” There is a study, which put rats underwater, one almost to the point of death and its behavior thereafter was not one of thankfulness and happiness to be alive, but one, which always questioned life, saw it in terms of that powerlessness. Psychologically, thereafter the rat embodied near-death. I was hopeless and whipped. Other rats had less time underwater and were fine.

A person, like that, is drawn to the motions and potions of distress. They write in a maudlin tone and are always taking the negative perspective. A editor once said, however, that we don’t want to read happiness, there’s no point in that, we like to immerse ourselves in grief and pain, stories and times that bring us to tears. There’s more substance in sadness.

Most literary works, if you haven’t noticed, are not joyous embraces, but toils within the quagmire of life. Elliot’s poem “The Wasteland” is one of my favorites. The lines and words carry me deeply. I don’t want to be cast afflight, I want to be close to the earth and her true course. You cannot learn to live, you can only learn to create art out of pain. Check out this new piece of mine: After the Rain.

I am constantly creating art of every kind and that initial sadness has kept me in my chair. If this gives you catharsis, which it does me, then that’s the point. Sadness and perhaps happiness are on a quest to find catharsis. I don’t think happy people feel it as closely as someone in pain.

I work in photography, poetry, fiction, criticism, oils, drawing, music, condo remodeling and design. I am interested in catharsis.