Something I have been thinking about for some time is the idea that our personalities cannot easily be divided up into the parts we like to label when we talk about ourselves; ‘sum your self up in 5 words’, that sort of thing. I can’t remember when I realised this about myself, but somewhere in the not-too-distant past I became aware that some of the parts of me that I was desperate to be rid of had their roots in the same place as other parts which I wanted to keep. So maybe I wanted to better at being sociable in the way that I see others can engage with their group at a party or in the pub. But to lose that weird part of me which some cannot accept would also mean losing the eccentricities that other appreciate; perhaps it would mean losing the way I can’t help looking at things; it would mean not being able to write the way I write now or not being able to paint this picture. And I don’t want to lose those things.
A wise person once said to me that the greatest eccentricity lies in constantly striving to conform. It doesn’t mean not striving for anything. And it doesn’t mean never trying to improve on weak areas. But I think maybe it’s dangerous to despise any part of one’s self before looking to see if the roots of it are also the birthplace of some uniquely beautiful facet of personality.
This is what this picture is about. In the end I called it 'The Four Chambers of a Failing Heart'. Light is meaningless without the juxtaposition of dark. Not that we enjoy the dark, but perhaps we can learn to respect our struggles with those things that are hard to speak of.
(Pee Ess My brother-in-law framed this and I think he did a lovely job. Thanks Barry!)