Monday, March 7, 2016

The Hurt That Heals

Update #1:  

Thinking about my 2015/2016 in terms of John Porcellino's "The Hospital Suite" gives me hope I can turn this thing around, yet.

Update #2:

In a long late night conversation with Mark Campos, we came up with the idea mining the wound hard enough for the art might just retrieve the bullet and allow you to heal.  And maybe the bullet is diamond pointe and maybe the wound shines like glass on a ruby lake.  

At least it only took 'em 1 try
(as apposed to 8, yes 8!) to set the IV this time

This week's blog is going to be short and....sweet?  Not so much, as I've been spending more time in hospitals that outside of them over the last couple of months and last week was no exception.

Lets start out with some of the good parts.


Artist Jeff Milhalyo and Royal Room
co-owner Tia Matthies.
I wrote last week about my much-anticipated enjoyment of the OK Hotel Family Reunion.

Seattle's Royal Room, whose owners also ran the OK Hotel from 1987 - 2001, is a great venue.  The shows were perfectly booked, well attended and I sold a lot of my little illustrated histories of the venue.

I also got to acquire some art as well, in the form of a limited edition vintage calendar from back in the day, produced by the lovely and talented and full-hearted Jeff Milhalyo.

I attended 3 out of 4 of the nights before I fell ill again and was back in the hospital on Monday, just getting discharged this morning.

The Hurt that Heals.  If it doesn't kill 'ya.

Debbe Penne, whose death on the crash of Alaska Flight 261
is part inspiration for "Girl On The Road"

Don't get me wrong.  Art can be this amazing, joyful, fun activity that is a celebration of all good things.  But a lot of what I work with is dark material--things that have hurt me physically and/or emotionally in the past.  The graphic novel that I've working on is created from several of these incidents, and digging far enough into them to make a comprehensive, cathartic yet funny and page-turning story means feeling a lot of that hurt again.  

I'm starting to realize that the work going into the art is bigger than the art itself, and I'm going to need a lot of support around it.  It means building up this concept of self-care, which was completely foreign to me until I nearly killed myself from lack there-of.  And, of course, enjoying my friends who are still here.  I have this lovely creative community.  I may possibly be misguided by the notion that if you use art to cut deep enough into the wound, it might just heal you--and done well enough, heal others as well.  I have no proof of this hypothesis, but I'm working on it.

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