Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Artistic Musings

You know, I don't read blogs as religiously as I did a few months ago. Part of it may be that I am busier than I was even a few months ago, and part of it is the natural attrition of bloggers who I really enjoy reading. And I have not replaced many of the ones I have read in the past.

There is one blogger who I read, but not as much as I once did. Most of it is that I can no longer link to her – she doesn't want traffic (one person actually) to her site. So I have to remember to find her URL in my Yahoo account, and then link from there. The URL she uses is one that I would never be able to remember. But she is definitely worth the extra trouble.

She in her hubbie are having trouble – actually a lot of trouble. Okay, she was one of the first people I started reading, partly because her life and my life seemed so similar. So I have been always the voice of "save the marriage, save the marriage." I am Catholic, so I have a pre-disposition to save the marriage, save the marriage. Okay, I can't solve her problems, but I am beginning to have a different view of the world, and I will share it with you. This new world view has little to do with blow jobs and cum stains. Shocking, I know, but there it is.

And the only way I can think about this is through an analogy. We are like paintings, our parents providing most of the brush strokes early on. Heck, they even provide the frame.

Rich Kids where the Parents Aren't Present
I have met people of influence who had parents who worked on the frame, giving them guilding, ornate workwork, whatever – that is, giving them materially so much. The best schools, wonderful clothing, braces, dermatology services, whatever. But the parents don't spend time with them, so their picture has haphazard strokes that have no feeling, no value. These are the kids that seem to be always lost, even though they have every advantage in the world.

Poor Kids with Great Parents
Okay, this is how I see myself. My parents were of modest means. We had little discretionary income as we were growing up. My parents absolutely gave of themselves. Now, they weren't perfect parents, but we always felt loved. The brush strokes they applied were full of feeling and depth, but the frame was modest. It complimented the artwork – did not detract from the painting.

Poor Kids with Troubled Parents
This is the person who I have been reading. She grew up like me, in a modest household. Her parents had setbacks, be it alcoholism or whatever. It is not that they did not love their children; they just had poor role models themselves. The brush strokes had feeling, for they loved their children, but there were also random marks, caused by their short fallings. Self-taught artists, as it were. Perhaps the children themselves needed to add strokes to make the painting more complete. And because these children often have to grow up faster, there is white space on the canvas, white space that had to be completed by them at a later date.

[I just reached my one-page limit – please bear with me on this one.]

But what I have described is what happens to people by the time they turn 22 or 25, or 18 or whatever. Guys are probably on the 25 side of things, girls on the 22 side of things. And if you have had a traumatic event, maybe the age is younger. And for those of you that started families earlier, your painting had to be finished quicker – you have had to mature earlier because you had to be parents for children.

Over the years, however, these paintings hang on walls – and start to fade. Some paintings are in direct sunlight, and the colors fade. Some fall from the wall, perhaps being damaged by a traumatic event. After a while, we look at our own artwork and we forget who we once were. Life seems to have happened.

One day, you look at yourself and you don't remember the vivid colors you must have been. You don't remember what excited you, what was important to you. Instead, you are more worried about paying the mortgage, the cable bill, perhaps losing that 10 pounds that you keep on your ass. I mean, we are all – most of us, at least – wonderful pieces of artwork. And over time, we forget this. We forget what is truly important, what our core values are.

Now I am no fan of just doing things to make us "happy," but if there is no joy in our lives, perhaps we moved from what we knew we should be doing to what we are doing to make mortgages, to cutting the grass, to whatever. We have lost what is most important to us.

Moving back to this individual – I have always been in favor of "saving the marriage." But what if her hubbie does not help her to be the best person she can be. For a religious person like me, I would describe it as "getting closer to God." But even for those who don't believe in God, I think spouses are supposed to help you become better people. Not change you. We women have a problem with this one. But encourage people to excel – and I am not talking about a fully vested 401-K. You know, when you die, you can't roll over your retirement savings to your soul in heaven. At least, if you can, I am sure that the paperwork is a bitch and few have the proper documents. A joke.

We spend so much time cleaning house and the yard. Sometimes we need to stop and clean our souls. We need to remember what the painting of ourselves truly is. Because if we are not living in harmony with who we truly are, I think we are cheating ourselves and those we touch on a daily basis. Those in harmony with themselves don't work to be happy. They are happy, and they infect others. Their joy is contagious. They are better sons and daughters, better friends, better parents, better lovers.

Now I am not suggesting that my friend end her marriage – but if her hubbie won't help fix himself, help get in tune with her beautiful music, it leaves her with few healthy options. From what I recall, they played beautifully together in the past.


United We Lay said...

There's only so much you can do to save a marriage. It's worse to live your life in despair because you are stuck in a relationship that doesn't give you any pleasure. It makes life more difficult for both of you, and it makes you a less productive person in the long run.

Grant said...

I think people work too hard to maintain bad marriages. If it's worth saving, then definitely put forth the effort. If the relationship has soured, it's best ended before it spills over and affects others.

When I was in college, I learned that Harvard Medical is the only remaining hospital in America that performs lobotomies. No insurance will cover it, so you have to pay cash - $100,000. The professor that told us that said it was mostly used on rebellious children of the rich. If they didn't want to deal with their weird kids, they'd have them lobotomized and viola - they'd get back a completely different weird kid. That's something I saw too often - wealthy people who treated their children like fashion accessories. Their wants and needs were simply inconvenient.

Prata said...

Marriage is not a necessity. It's similar to being on a ship and needing to lose weight to make the draft more shallow.

Toss it aside.

*gets the urge to strangle someone*

I hate my life. But really, marriage anything else. When faced with survival of being any semblance of a person and some thing that society holds in high esteem but is not necessary for survival. Survive as a person.

Goddess said...

Leesa, good anaolgy. Now I think I have some painting to do!

Edtime Stories said...

I think more people are recognizing that in their relationship they have been giving up so much of themselves that they don't recognize who they are. The internet has allowed those people to explore and connect with others in the same way. Chat rooms and now blogging have created communities of strangers that share similar ideas and thus push people to examine themselves. I think this is a good thing. I only hope that people are thoughtful about what they are doing, relationships only survive when fed by all the people in them. When one stops feeding it dies a slow, painful death.

halo said...

Beautifully written and understood perfectly. All of my colors have mixed together Im afraind, in shades of grey. And Darling, link if you'd like, if that means I'll see more of you at my spot. ;-)

Shannon said...

I guess some people want to please everyone eles, parents, siblings, friends, their church, their community, before they please themselves. If you are drowning in a marriage, why stay in it? I don't promote divorce, as I have come from a broken home, but I do promote happiness, you only get one shot, one chance to live and be happy.

I do believe marriage is forever but sometimes people change, and not for the you have to ask yourself, are the changes something so drastic that they have changed the fabric of what was most important to you?

I wish your friend all of the best... there is no easy way out...

Have a good one Leesa!

~Deb said...

Beautiful post Leesa---one of my favorites actually.

I guess if we're not happy with ourselves...we can make other people miserable in our process of entertaining pity parties. I can relate to the person on the other side in some aspects. I used to (and sometimes I see the same patterns to be honest) try to control or change the person I was with. It's because of the unhappiness that dwells in some people.

Thanks for the great thought provoking read! As always! :) I hope your friend is okay.

JD said...

great post. i absolutely love your writing, your insight, your analogies. as always, wonderful. that's why your blog is on top of my list of places to visit. thank you for continuing to do what you do.

Mike said...

Marriage requires work...from both doing all the work won't work for very matter how you paint it.

Leesa said...

united: marriages are so complex, and sometimes fixing oneself actually saves the marriage. Not in the case I mentioned, but sometimes.

grant: interesting Harvard facts. As I recall (before my time, actually), someone in the Kennedy clan got one of those. A sister, I think. (Here is a google result: John F. Kennedy's sister Rosemary received one of Freeman's ice-pick lobotomies, resulting in a severe mental impairment that left her paralysed, incoherent, and incontinent. According to some accounts, Rosemary had suffered from a mild mental retardation, which the lobotomy was supposed to fix. Others claim Rosemary wasn't even mentally ill to begin with, but simply a wild child, and her father Joe thought that involuntarily lobotomizing a 23-year-old was good parenting technique.)

prata: You said, "Marriage is not a necessity." Neither is sex for the individual.

goddess: broad brush strokes, babe, broad brush strokes!

ed: the problem is that people don't have to give up who they are to continue in a relationship.

halo: sweets, thanks for the nice comments. I have been thinking about you - I have.

shannon: I think we think similarly. Maybe the Catholic upbringing.

~deb: my friend is a strong woman, perhaps stronger than she realizes. She is hurting right now, but she will be fine!

jd: you flatter me.

mike: yeah, I know, from your experience, Mike.

Bruce said...

Leesa, my heart hurts for her, as well, but as you said, she is a strong, vibrant person. In the end, she'll be ok; I truly believe that.

~ Amanda X&O said...

I loved your post.

As someone who has never been married, I have an ideal in mind when I think of marriage, but no real facts. But I do believe with all of my heart that your spouse should be your best friend. If you do something in your life that you're afraid to tell your spouse, you either shouldn't be doing it, or shouldn't be married.

Leesa, you are correct to remind us to spend more time on the important things in life, and that those things aren't the mortgage and the lawn. Perhaps if we all did that, marriages would really be forever.

Good luck to your friend.

Rat In A Cage said...

Two words:

Internet favorites!

I just recently told her I wish it were fiction because it is such beautiful writing. too bad it's borne from angst.

mal said...

I am not catholic, but I am married into a VERY catholic clan. Over the years some of their views have affected my opinions and thinking. One thing that has not changed though is my attitude about poisoned relationships. It is one thing to try and work thru the inevitable problems, it is entirely another when you are trying to deal with some one who does not want to fix themselves or the relationship. Like a bad hand of cards, you are better off tossing them into the pile and cutting your losses.

The challenge is knowing the difference.

Lisa said...

That was such a great analogy. I loved the way you said it.

iamnasra said...

When I started reading you post I thought u were talking about Amias as she had left a note long time. Im featuring Amias of liquidplastic in

Hope u can visit and share your thoughts about her if any

Leesa said...

bruce: thanks for your thoughts.

amanda: thanks for your kind words.

rat: she is a favorite of mine also.

mal: but many of us toss the cards away too soon, when the problem is not the cards but the player.

lisa: thanks, hun.

iamnasra: lots of people have similar problems.

Leigh said...

What a beautiful post. Your words are so powerful and full of meaning. I do hope this girl finds her colours again, in which ever road she chooses for her future.

Georgiapeach said...

Classic post. Absolutely gorgeous. I learned some very valuable and helpful things.

Leesa said...

leigh: thanks for the kind words.

GP: one of my favorites actually. Not the words, but the concepts.