What do you do when you crash?

Dreambirdie

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I am currently crashed.

For pleasure and to release discomfort in my body, I make toning, moaning, groaning sounds, (my opera of pain), while watching the leaves fall through my window.

When I am up for it, I arise from my sickbed and paint my sick self portrait. I would post one of the paintings, but am not sure you guys could handle it. :p:p;)
 
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Interesting....

The first two are very jangled neurologically--gives a sense of how fractured frazzled distorted contorted our neurology is. Freaky. Hard to look at them for long.

The third, though, which expresses your rage, is neurologically coherent and flows--is actually pleasing (to my brain anyway).
 
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Well it doesn't feel like anger so much as power. It has a coherence to it. How do you feel when you're raging--better?
The other ones do portray how it is inside but it's hard to look at because it's such a horrible state both jagged and convoluted. ME/Lyme: Like epileptic glass shards having a seizure but also paralyzed so unable to really explode, just spasm in place.
 

Dreambirdie

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freedom

All my paintings help me feel "empowered." That's why I paint.

With CFS, there are few places where you have choice and freedom, but in painting you have LOTS of choice and TOTAL freedom, as long as you GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY. That is the challenge and it's a really good one.

Painting is my therapy/meditation. It helps me BE with my feelings, no matter how UN-pleasant they are, and allows me to give them a place to be expressed.

While painting, the question I ask myself is: IS THIS TRUE to HOW I FEEL RIGHT NOW? If I follow that "truth" and stay with it, I find my release and my freedom from the suffering of that moment. And that is SO worth it!
 
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I understand. BTW if you want to have a wicked laugh and another view of creativity, go to regretsy.com. She has compiled the oddest crafts/works of art sold on etsy.com with really snarky witty comments. Just sold a book on the same to random house.
 
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Your art is such pure expression, db! The rage of the last one just moves off the page and can be felt. I found myself captured by Not Just Exhaustion, and the way in which you show the melted-down state we've all experienced - that face has so much going on in there!

The very first painting is, as JenBooks said, difficult for me to take in for too long, maybe because of the jangled, disjointed quality reminding me of the splintering of life dreams that can happen with this illness. All three paintings give visual voice to aspects of our experience. All are powerful, and yes, I can sense how empowering the process is!
 

Dreambirdie

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Thanks Tree, for your sweet input--:):):)

Oddly enough, I feel just fine taking long looks at the first painting--that BLACK void of exhaustion that I know so well.

It's the second one that tweeks ME out! I think my face REALLY DOES look like it's having a meltdown on those BAD AWFUL days. :eek::p:(:p:p:p:):)
 
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Jen

Jen, on that same theme..sorta...have you seen Stitchy McYarnpants Museum of Kitschy Stitches? http://stitchymcyarnpants.com/moks06/

She looks at old knitting patterns and craft projects (mostly from the 70's and 80's) and her commentary is hilarious. Perhaps I don't get out as much as I should (ha!) but I haven't laughed so much at anything as I have at some of Stitchy's posts! If it's your cup of tea it can be very therapeutic :D
 

Sunday

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Well, I was drawn to the Black Void of Exhaustion one - is this a Rorschach test?

Somehow I had a feeling that TCM didn't stand for Traditional Chinese Medicine here (although I often turn to that TCM in times of crash). Thanks for satisfying my curiosity with the Turner alternative. I am currently getting full use out of the free Hulu archive - being sick and watching Dick van Dyke is a flashback for me, it's the very show I used to watch reruns of when I was sick at home as a kid.

I think one of the things about crashes which is most depressing to me is I HAVE no creative energy. Actually this is one of the weirdest things about CFS in general for me, I feel I am quite literally not myself like this, though when I'm not crashy and can think and move and like that I find the intuitive state CFS drives me to use a lot also helps me creatively.
 
K

_Kim_

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Thanks Tree, for your sweet input--:):):)

Oddly enough, I feel just fine taking long looks at the first painting--that BLACK void of exhaustion that I know so well.

It's the second one that tweeks ME out! I think my face REALLY DOES look like it's having a meltdown on those BAD AWFUL days. :eek::p:(:p:p:p:):)
dreambirdie,

You are so wonderful to share this part of yourself with us.

I found the first one to be comforting. I looked at it the longest - hearing music in it even. It sounded like a low pitched, slow jazz song - sad, moving, but very real.

The second one *bugged me out* - couldn't look for more than a few seconds. It felt confusing and irritating.

The last one - I had no real reaction to it. "Nice" was all I thought. I never would have guessed that it was your expression of rage.
 

gracenote

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again beheld the stars

Black Void of Exhaustion
Thank you so much dreambirdie for sharing your paintings. I feel drawn to respond to them.

I would have titled your "Black Void of Exhaustion" painting something like "Climbing Out of Fiery Despair." I see movement and depth. I notice the red, but more so the white, and what seams to be a ladder leading up and out. I think of Dante describing his descent down into the layers of hell and coming out the other side into the light of night.
Till on our view the beautiful lights of Heaven
Dawnd through a circular opening in the cave:
Thence issuing we again beheld the stars.
Your "CFS is Not Just Exhaustion" painting is such a felt description of disconnect within one's own self. I've often described myself as a walking, talking Picasso. But your lack of clarity around the edges feels more explanatory.

In your final painting "Rage at My Illness" I'm reminded of how I feel after a good cryall messy and tired but somehow a tiny bit relieved.

Maybe instead of "The Faces of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" we need an exhibit of the art of PWCs. Maybe that would represent us better.

And thanks, dreambirdie, for your response on Home Alone for the Holidays thread. I love how the various threads lead to remarkable and interesting personal expressions of self-discovery.
 

Dreambirdie

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Hi Gracenote--

It is fascinating to me to see what others see, and how others respond to my paintings.

I also saw the "ladder" in the first painting, after I finished it. That was not intentional, as at the time I felt completely overcome and overwhelmed by despair, and struggling to be with it. In my experience, embracing what I feel is the ONLY way out. So maybe that's why the ladder "appeared," like a hint from my unconscious to remember that what comes down will eventually go up again. Reverse gravity. ;):) Beautiful Dante quote... thanks for that.

The second painting is REALLY HARD for me to look at. It came out at the peak of exhaustion last week. I could barely sit up to paint that day, and felt so distorted internally. I felt much better after I was done painting, but it's not one I want to look at more than a couple seconds. Echhhh!

The last one is kinda strange to see... because I was just pissed as hell when I painted it, smacking the paint on the paper with my hands, mashing it around like a crazy person. Now when I see it, it looks so much more harmonious and free than I would have EVER imagined.

I agree that it would be great to have an exhibit of PWC art. I am currently finishing up a book of my own paintings about my illness, and when I'm done with that I would love to invest some time in a collective project.

And thanks, Gracenote, for reading my long response about my sordid experiences on the "spiritual path." Sometimes I wonder if anyone reads some of the things I post, so it's good to hear that it does happen. :cool: :):)
 

Dreambirdie

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dreambirdie,

You are so wonderful to share this part of yourself with us.

I found the first one to be comforting. I looked at it the longest - hearing music in it even. It sounded like a low pitched, slow jazz song - sad, moving, but very real.
Thanks Kim--

Now that I know it's "okay," I will post some paintings more often.

I hope others do too!

I love your impression of the jazz in the first painting. I agree it would have been VERY SLOW and also slightly dissonant. :cool: ;):):)
 

jackie

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Dreambirdie...Although I promised myself I'd only post once today..as one artist to another..I just have to reply!

These are truly wonderful paintings! Of course, as an artist I'm interested in the mediums used (I think I can identify most!) So.....

#1. "Void" I "see" a musician struggling to play - notes floating into a void - some slow, soulful melodies (jazzy, I agree).... then wailing into the black abyss...cries falling on deaf ears.

2. self portrait (I LOVE this one!) It remids me of the picture of "Dorian Gray"...only in this case the face has been transformed by an onslaught of viruses! This "face" is pleading for someone to "DO" something...for someone to help. The tight slash of the mouth....I bet a lot of us "hold" our mouths this way in pain, resolve/determination/resignation.

My favorite aspect is the one eye (the right one)...it seems to be struggling to remain constant - to remain "clear", to still SEE. Although it is radiating sorrow and physical pain...this one eye shows a "spirit" shining through the chaos. This is very poignant to me.

ok now for #3. (maybe my favorite!) Rage - This appears to ME to be an evisceration. I see the white flash of bones...blood, veins, muscles. There is a terrible sense of urgency and violence here (sometimes an animal will eviscerate organs as a DEFENSE MECHANISM! Interesting!) This disease has left you completely exposed, desperate and enraged...you've been "skinned" and lost your innermost being, so to speak! - and this painting shows what's left of you! AND how you feel about THAT!

This is what I felt...and you just thought they were paintings!:eek:

Bravo and Thanks (and I'm buying your book when it's done!);)

jackie:cool: