A Projection on Flesh updated and finished. oils. and a plectrum. and a scalpel.

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Final v of a painting that includes Lisa… she remains perhaps the woman I have loved most in my life, long and fantastical tale that it is…
I cannot remember 2004 – to re-iterate – I received treatment for the deadly extent of my depression in the form of ECT or shock therapy. They could not induce a seizure, which is how it works (they don’t really know how it works), and it DOES work (80% success rate short term – vs THIRTY PERCENT for anti depressant. Well-hidden pharmaceutical fact there.) So they literally kept turning up the VOLTAGE to get me to seize. I had two different hospitalizations (apparently) and two sets of ‘treatments.’
ECT is known for causing memory loss… I read a few books on it (apparently) before I let them do it. Six weeks was supposed to be the maximum amount of memory, of pieces of LIFE, stolen by the desperate final recourse of ECT.
But because of the decision to UP THE FUCKING VOLTAGE, I have lost the memory of ALL of 2004 save 3 weeks or so. The worst pieces of being with lisa are burned within those hundreds of thousands of hours. And perhaps the best. We lived together for a few weeks. Who knows?
I got an email from her yesterday (err the 11th of October ’07). Synchronous as all hell considering that I had just finished the painting. I have not heard from her in almost two years, not seen her for longer still. Ah, well… I had thought myself over it, but…

Tragic farce. Tragic indeed. I think this piece exemplifies a great deal about her, and her and I for that matter. I didn’t realize ANY of the symbolism whilst I painted it – post-painting self-analysis. So -
She is GLOWING, there is light pouring from her. She was like this to see, to touch. She is an intensely alive person. Such passion, a match for my own? I dunno. So different. The floor is also blooming with light beneath her feet. The sky outside the window is split between passion-frenzied cloud and the still sweetness of clear blue. Hm… now that I think about it maybe I AM the dark clouds? Or rather I was. Weird. Cooky. And of course, she is beautiful to the point where she walks around making other people feel ugly just by being there. She moves with a liquid grace ah so of course, of course, her feet are
Not. Touching. The. Ground.
I didn’t think about ANY OF THIS while I painted it. Happens. I am just analyzing it backwards a week later. Now I look at it it seems to me as if she is something of a prisoner of the blue and red darkness around her… wow I wonder who that represents – oi you! Painter boy with the HEALTHY SELF IMAGE! (smacks self with rolled up newspaper and bites himself on the ear.)
There is a guitar pick and a scalpel embedded in the paint. The scalpel… in a few more words it becomes clear…the pick – I wrote a bad song for her with good lyrics – couple of lines –
You are the boiling girl
You are the exception to every rule
You will take my hands
And you will tell me the truth.
Chorus-y bit;
She lies silent now
This girl, my brilliant lover
Then she asks me – how do I devour

And I sang to her and sang to her and wrote my most wild hardest most exquisite words and I drew for her and I hurt for her. Finally I HURT her. Yeh…
The vibrant brilliant red border is blood of course… hard to say this but I must hold on, I have to continue to be whom and what I have chosen and fought to be. I must not shy from the truths as ugly as they are as ashamed as they must make me. I have written of it elsewhere on this page perhaps. This woman that I loved so much and so well. What could be more cruel than this? Why the FUCK am I surprised that she is NOT mine? Mad stupid poisonous crippled boy. I can’t write this no not now… but – I found this piece of prose lost from my memory like everything else from that year. Pasted it instead of hitting the paint sticky keys in front of me:
So though I have not returned to the abyss and fallen off the edge again, I still have shit to deal with. I am trying to not work too much – on the recommendation of my psyche and another one. This is how I live though; I need to work it is what I hold onto in the night. Sometimes.
Help gah. I feel totally stripped bare not to mention SHORT I have just seen Lisa and my god she is beautiful my god her beauty is like a fucking river it never runs out like a magic packet of tim tams. Should have answered the door without putting my pants on I should have remembered what looking at her does to me. I know there is no happy ending for this; that there cannot be. I can’t believe I can talk when I look at her… I feel the swell of my passion and lust in the back of my throat choking me; flood of words cut from me even as they bubble with ashes and hope. I am sweating and my stomach hurts. I hate this. I feel completely powerless. I cannot believe she feels the same way I do it is impossible for me to conceive. I am at her mercy an absolute irresolute fool for her; she could crush me so easily, so deeply with the slightest whispered word.
I remember this feeling. I have not felt it since I was a young teenager, a half child already bitter and strange. I remember it; yes. The girl I loved… I left a rose at her doorstep but I had squeezed a piece of barbed wire in my hand and dripped blood all over it. Yeah good work Paul fucking brilliant well I was, like I said, one fucking weird fourteen year old.
But it is like my work; what my work is about. It is always the same thing. The moments are precious to me because they are doomed. It is their fate and brevity that makes them so much sweeter. How to resist something like that – it is some essential part of everything that I believe anyway, and I do not just BELIEVE these things – they are learned from my convictions and turned to articulation and not the other way around. More than my convictions.., it is so real for me, I don’t think anyone really understands but these words do not just represent ideas for me – I feel them continuously, the passing of time treasured and lost.
Perhaps it is only some romanticism, some AESTHETIC truth that makes me fevered and weak in her presence and for hours before and after I see her. Why then do I feel so helpless in its tight ruthless grip? If it is only some concept, a ferocious idea? I am bright enough to see through my own idiocy at least SOME of the time. Though given my recent history I hesitate to believe this. My own stupidity and shame…
She found me, you see. I let this gentle brilliant woman find me dying in the bedroom bleeding and poisoned. I will never, NEVER forgive myself for that brutal act. It doesn’t matter, it CAN’T matter, that I was psychotic with grief and self loathing. How I can do such things and live with myself after and beyond twists inside me like making my father watch while I cut my wrists in drunken fury and hate. Guilt, useless and angry.
Ah hell. What can I do?
Live on. I am in love with her.

I wish I could remember. Wish it, yes. Ah well.

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Artwork Comments

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