A re-printing of “Let life begin.” (MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 2008)
We shed old personalities like a snake sheds skin. There are moments in your life where you realize that you are not the same anymore. That the world has altered. That someone is missing. I see that the color of blue has been taken off my painter’s palette. And blue is my favorite color.
A part of my life has been shut off, as if a light bulb in a room has burned out, and the room has gone black. Minutes may pass before you walk into the room to change the bulb, where you are enveloped immediately by the darkness, but you do bring light back into that part of your life.
And it may take you years to even look at the door, let alone walk into the room.
This brings to mind an installation art piece that I wanted to do in college. Within that room, you are surrounded not only by the darkness, but also every possible emotion. And when the light is replaced, you see the bareness of the room’s interior. The white walls. The lack of paintings, furniture, objects, possessions, life. The starkness of the room seems to neutralize every emotion you had been experiencing moments before. Bright and bare, the room holds nothing.
On the ground is a thinly painted red line that makes a circle. A place that you intuitively know is the safest place to stand in the room. In the house. On the wall to your left are twenty-eight locks that seal a door that does not exist, although there is an eyehole through which you can see people, made of a gray-blue papier-mâché, holding frozen positions outside the walls of the room. On the opposite wall is a doorway that leads into another bleak, dark space. A place you know holds more emotion. A place where you cannot change a light bulb in order to bring light to the space. It is a place without light. It is depression. It is mourning. It is emptiness.
Standing inside these walls, you know you will be able to step out into the World again and live. Maybe not today, but you will. And this room brings up the realization that you cannot go back to the way you were living. Even if it was only yesterday. Life changes without you. Life changes with you. And you must surrender to the change.
Strength to change can burn through you as you do it. It can send razor hot lines of pain through your body as you make the decision to not continue living your life this particular way. You can love the color black – the dark, rich, sensual texture of the color – but decide that this particular black is not something you want. It’s not something you can afford to have. And you take it off your painter’s palette. And the act is not without pain or love. For you can experience undeniable passion with someone who is not interested in the same thing as you are; however, you get up the strength to tell them that you will not continue this, no matter how good they make you feel, because it is only a momentary, limited act of expression. That, in the end, really means nothing.
And how can you fill your life up with nothing? How can you accept only what is stripped down to the bone? How can you feel completed by someone who gives nothing of himself except his physical self?
People have told me to be careful of what I ask for. But I don’t worry about him changing. It would be foolish – it would be insanity – to think he would. And maybe, knowing this, I can move forward. Knowing he won’t move forward with me.