The Ways of a Mind
It was frustrating, excruciatingly frustrating. A small task, an easy chore that I had done many times before, on this day it just did not work. What could be so difficult about setting a header on a website? Programming had been part of my working career and this wasn’t even coding, just pick and place.
My mind was numb. I needed a break. I needed to share my agony. This was fodder for a blog lament. Maybe a handful of my online friends would at least show a little sympathy by clicking like.
Wanting to set down my thoughts I started Paint. No, not Live Writer, not Word, not even Notepad, but plain old Paint. Plain lines, shapes, colors to express my feelings, that is all I needed, all I wanted. Oh, I envisioned the outcome and would reach for other tools before finishing my piece. This is how my mind works, images first. Days later I finally started typing text, on my phone, early in the morning.
Funny that I so automatically started with the image before the words? It has always been thus for me. I recall a story my mother told me one day when I had come home for a visit. When I was just a toddler, one day my grandmother took me over to the neighbors. They had found a turtle. I had never seen a turtle before. When I got back home I was excited and wanted to share my experience. I ran and got a piece of paper and a pencil and drew a pretty good representation of a turtle.
Visual expression and logic have been the basis for my engineering career. I also remember the time, as a young boy, when I was outside late at night. In our small village the nights were dark and the skies were clear. I admired the stars when suddenly one of them jumped. Yes, the star jumped from one place and stopped a little distance away. I was awed. It was still, nothing else in the firmament showed anything but utter stillness. I told my father about the jumping star. He sat me down and patiently explained meteors to me. It was a good, scientific explanation, but of course, I knew better. I had seen, seen! the star jump!
… back to reality
Everything in computers is crucially predictable, controlled. Everything works just as instructed, logically, precisely. Or it used to. Lately things are no longer as they seem. We live in Alice’s wonderland. The words have lost their meanings, what we see is no longer reality.
As so often happens, I started a number of images, some I finished, some are but sketches. The exercise was calming and I completed two images that expressed my frustrations as well as a little bit of hope. Later I finished my lament and posted my comments and older images as well as the two newest ones. See my lament, Losing It, over on my blog This ‘n That.
The image “Shattering World”, expressing my pain, is the upper one. Dark and ominous, it shows an explosion of sharp, multi-colored triangles with the pieces pointing, moving in all directions and toward the viewer. My final effort, “Hope”, is vastly different in feeling. It pulls the viewer the other way, towards a warm light at the “end of the tunnel”. This too consists of triangles in various colors. The surrounding environment is mundane and gray. The triangles now are more structural in nature, they are reminiscent of open doors rather than shattering shards. I tried to make this a reassuring, hopeful complement to my first work.
Returning to my website, I find the problems still there. Ach, I must start my Paint program again …
First published in Our Arts Magazine on November 14, 2017