Every time life lifts up my head to grab a few breaths something dark and unknown comes and dunks my head under water. I’m back to gasping, flailing, sinking. All I want is a deep breath. To fill my lungs with fresh air. To my chest expand as I take in my source of life. Why most I thrash in dark murky waters fearing what is lurking underneath? This is my life as an artist.
SurvivingAugust 9, 2012
It’s Friday and I get a call from a frantic friend who just got screwed over by another friend she hired for a promo video she wanted. He didn’t tell her his fee till 2 days before the event and it was way outside her budget and outside what the guy deserves. She needed a videographer tomorrow! Of course being the kind of person that hates to see others sink in the same pool of anxiety I agreed to help. She couldn’t pay much, (but enough to pay this months bills) and it was for her wood-fire pizza catering…. soooo free pizza! This was my first little breath. The video shoot went great. Best pizza I’ve had since Europe and the video turned out pretty good as well. The next day I edited it and kept on working on it all week. I was also setting up my pictures at galleries and getting ready for an art festival. I was finally doing it. I wasn’t making exactly the money I wanted yet, but I was still surviving. I was afloat.
Then somewhere in the dark deep waters something started moving. I felt something brush my leg. I couldn’t tell what it was. It was such a good morning. I was taking breathes, not full breathes, but enough to satisfy. I dropped off my boyfriend at work and then was headed to the river trail to walk my dog then visit my grandma. I was in a good mood. Then there it was. The shark. I saw him too late. I was headed straight for him. I tried to slow down, but it was too late. Red and Blue lights were flashing and the sound of the enemy was blaring. All hope was lost. Motorcycle cop. My breath had left me. I’m gasping. I’m going to suffocate. How can this be happening? I was doing so well. Things were finally looking up. As I’m trying to calm myself I also having to keep my dog from growling. Nothing I did or said helped soften to beasts heart. Not even my puppy who went from growling to panting and being pet by the evil one. I just sat in my car and cried. Cried for what I had lost. Cried for a slip in judgement. I know when I’m trying to speed, but this time I had no where to be. Just a carefree day. I couldn’t believe I was going as fast as he said. I tried to understand. If I was in my own car and not my boyfriends would I have been going that fast? I drive a stick and it takes me a little longer to pick up speed. If maybe I had pleaded and apologized more to the creature on his black horse. If my puppy hadn’t growled at first. If… if… if… it was too late. I had the ticket in my hands and the discouragement in my heart. Why?!! I’ve never seen a cop there before. I’m hardly driving this car. All is lost and I should just give up. I’ve never cried getting a ticket before. Mostly I’m just pissed. I usually get over it and move on. But sometimes you are in this place where you are so close to the edge that anything might send you over. You are stranded in the ocean and you are finally gaining your strength back from your last crash to keep your head above water. It’s just when the waters seem to calm that another wave comes crashing down on you. It hits like a car crash. You don’t know which way is up. The whole time you are wondering will I make it to the surface before I drown. Where’s the surface? My arms and legs are moving, but I’m not going anywhere. I’m drowning.
Even though my mind has given up my body takes over and refuses to quit. I can’t control it. My lungs are telling my body what to do. Swim. Swim. I notice that the water is getting lighter. That must be the top. It looks so far away. Breath. I survived. I’m exhausted. I can hardly stay afloat, but that little breath was enough to keep me alive. This is my life as an artist.