The Art of Progress

I am an artist.

I paint.

I sculpt.

I draw.

I make things.

I write.

I create.

I am an artist.

But I feel like I have been cheating on my art.

Good ole art. Always there. Often under employed and improperly utilized.

I do not practice my art. I never sketch or draw for the purpose of honing my skills. I usually only enter the artistic zone when something needs to be done. This is something I feel needs to change. And, after recovering from registering my wee one last week for Kindergarten this fall (holy shit, how did he get to be old enough to go to school?), I am sure the time will soon come to provide me that opportunity.

I have never truly embraced my artistic abilities.

Tattoo State of Mine

There are FAR more talented people out there than I am, many are people I know.

One of them is my girlfriend who tattoos me. She is a wonderful artist and I could not be more pleased with the work she has done on me. I am honoured to carry that ink under and on my skin. I commend her talent and her skill, as well as her willingness to put herself out there via her artwork. I cannot believe some of the attitudes towards tattoos, tattoo artists and those with them. I have several, a goodly portion of my body covered in beautiful art. I enjoy them very much. They are all well thought out (phenomenally executed) and incredibly meaningful, and still there are people who are convinced I am a bad parent and delinquent member of society because I have them. I have been publicly accused of poor parenting based on my tattoos. I have been made to feel unworthy and I think it is complete BULL SHIT.

I am sure I throw some people off because of my artwork. I am not one typical of tattoo culture (my girlfriend says I am like a rebellious Martha Stewart without all the crazy). I am absent of piercings now (save the singular holes in my ear lobes and my belly button ring, however, I desperately miss my nose ring and am considering a redo) though that wasn’t always the case (there were a lot more but I remember vaguely being at my friend’s house and removing 90% of them in his kitchen while having a tea with his mom), and I am fairly plain when it comes to my appearance as I do not wear make-up, I do not dye my hair and my wardrobe is rather dull. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal, though when pressured by a fancy family function or an important event I can put it together quite nicely.

I am in no ways judging the wild ones with their funky hair and face jewellery. I am in awe of their expression, their devotion to difference. I am blown away by their desire to be something of their own creation. I admire their artistry. Because as much as it might appear strange to you, the ripped stockings and excessive accessories, that person put thought and creativity in to that arrangement.

But I could never pull that off.

I need to art more.

Not in the form of a cake, a dinosaur painting for the wee one’s room or a fancied up pedicure.

I need to get down and dirty. Create. Express. Paint. Sculpt. Write.

I crave that selfish side art. The few moments of unadulterated self-absorption and extraction. The process of getting it out. It is selfish because you cannot be otherwise occupied during that kind of creative moment. You need to focus (even if it appears as though there is no focus to be gotten).

I crave it the way my husband still craves cigarettes (he will read this and know exactly what I mean). We both smoked cigarettes for years. There are times I miss it. There are times I do not. And, sometimes I miss it so much I think about breaking the
code. But my poor husband, nearly five years a non-smoker, is not over it in the least. We quit cold turkey. We quit for a litany of reasons though primarily because I found out I was (very unexpectedly, mind you) pregnant. I quit because I refuse to believe it is okay to smoke while pregnant and he because I told him I refused to raise the child alone when he dropped dead of a heart attack in his mid-40s.

So, we quit.

The Argument

My husband had a cigarette indiscretion. He lied about it. Even when I questioned him (seemingly catching him red handed), he lied. Until he was caught for real. Until there was no escape. I found the cigarette during our first (and only) family holiday, on the tail end of Father’s Day. It was not a far ventured vacation. We hit up Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls for a few days. We were unhappy with our room. It was beside a staff exit, so all day and night long we were stuck listening to the slam of the door and when we put the AC on our room filled up with cigarette smoke. It wasn’t ideal.

We had only ever had one holiday before; we spent a week camping in Algonquin Park three weeks after our first meeting. We thought it would be an excellent way to really get to know each other. No distractions. Just us and a tent. It was a wonderful adventure. We did it because we figured there was no harm in getting right to it. Spare ourselves the pains of dating. A dinner here, a quick coffee there. No. This way we would know one way or another (quickly!) whether or not this relationship was worth pursuing. He is five and a half years my senior, and when we met all those years ago, he on the end of his 20s and me entering them, we agreed to open and honest discourse. Always.

And it worked.

Until he broke that promise.

Until he lied.

He was selfish in a way that enraged me. He put himself before our family. He was weak. He caved. And he did it all without talking to me first. That hurt. Oh, how that hurt. We have been through so much in our years together. A lifetime worth of difficulties overcome by the two of us in a decade. I had supported him through so much and vice versa. We talk about everything. Or so I thought.

Am I over it?

I do not completely know. I may never get over it because I do not think he is over it. He still acts guilty. He has not allowed himself the fortune of forgiveness. From either of us.

I could care less that he smoked a cigarette. I could care less that he took money that was ours to buy them. I am secretly amused that the few he smoked, before binning the remainder of the pack, made him turn green and gag. But I cannot get over the lie. Or lies. The few times that I smelled it on him. When he came back from walking the puppy. When I looked him in the eyes and begged him to just tell me the truth. And he just said simply, no.

What I have shared here will come as no surprise (some of the sappy stuff might, though) to my darling spouse whom I truly do love very much. I have always been honest and straightforward with him. I am with everyone. I simply can’t help myself. I am lucky to have that man in my life. I think he is a wonderful person, kind and loyal (sometimes to a fault). He is an awesome dad to our wee one and our furry four-legged children. He is a great partner. He is a good friend, my favourite adult to hang out with; he shares my off-beat sense of humour, he can laugh at the high and low-brow. He shares my love of classic rock and respects my love for Peter Tosh. He plays a mean game of Scrabble.

But he lost himself in that lie. He lost a part of himself permanently in that lie. I wish he would forgive himself and come back to me.

It happened nearly two years ago.

So much has happened since then. We have both grown a lot. We have grown as a couple. We have applied what we learned from our past mistakes. We have (slowly and) steadily moved forward. We have progressed. And for that I am grateful. To us both. A lot of work has been done on both our parts. There is a lot more to do. Life is a journey.

The Art of the Matter

We got though all of that because deep down we both want to be together. And in more than the too afraid to go it alone way. I truly believe we are meant to see it through. Like Big Joe always affectionately says, no one else is going to put up with us, so we have to make it work. I agree.

Are there challenges to this shared life we live? ABSOLUTELY. There are so many. Much more than I naively thought when we said I do at city hall. We married after more than six years of being together. Cohabitating. Creating a life. We married because we wanted to. We did so discreetly. We told no one but those we asked to be there as witnesses.

But I find challenges exciting even though they are difficult. Never tell me I can’t do something. I will almost obsessively set out to prove you wrong if you do. So, while I do enjoy the sunshine and rainbows we encounter in our travels, I am grateful for the tumultuous weather we encounter too. I think weathering those storms make us stronger. They show us sides of each other and ourselves that the sunny days cannot.

Like I revisit my relationship with my husband I must also revisit the one with myself.

I let myself down many years ago. Perhaps, I too need to learn how to forgive myself. I need to get back on track. I need reinvest in me. I need to assess my abilities and uncover my true needs and wants. I need to unearth the passion buried deep in my heart. I owe myself at least the exploration. I need to at least try to put right the wrong.

I am an artist.

Be one.

I make things.

I need to make more.

I create.

Every thing can become something.

One thought on “The Art of Progress

  1. Pingback: My City of Ruins | A Soul is a Resilient Thing

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