Art heals

“We have art in order not to die from the truth.”

Nietzsche said this.

I concur, and would add “We also have a hidden stash of dark chocolate in order not to die from the truth.”

Jack and I spent the weekend at home together, while the rest of the guys were traipsing oot and aboot. Usually, Jack loves it when people leave and he has the house mostly to himself. Not this weekend. It was a weekend for shoveling chocolate in one’s face, he in his and me in mine.

Jack is stuck on “shred” cycle. It’s actually more like “eat while shredding” cycle. It’s eating and shredding, while pacing. It’s Jack on crack.

He shredded the fast-offering check and tithing slip I set on the hall table. He ate ten peanut butter cups in thirty minutes and shredded their wrappers on the stairs.

He ripped up some old photographs of us ten years ago in Yellowstone. I was pale and pudgy in a postpartum way and wore an even pudgier Jack in the Baby Bjorn. I was smiling in the pics, but I was sleep deprived then, too. That’s all I could think of when I saw those shredded pictures—I was really tired. I remember.

Jack knocked down a shelf in the garage, stuffed four half-eaten muffins in the couch cushions, tossed his blankets out his bedroom window onto the deck, and attacked me when I asked him to not throw a recycling bag of aluminum cans over the fence into the neighbor’s yard.

He has figured out how to grab my hair like a vice.

He smashed a glass jar on the driveway. He tried to suck up hard candies in the upright vacuum. He took the vacuum outside and dropped it from the deck into the nearby mulch pile. He replenished the lake of urine on his bedroom floor, multiple times.

I mopped, feeling rather like the woman in The Yellow Wallpaper. Creeping. Repetitive. Mentally precarious.

I took Jack on a long drive. I gave him like 17 baths. I ate chocolate.

We watched the Super Bowl, which neither of us cared about, but it was on and it was a spectacle. Jack sat on my lap during some of it, all 106 pounds of him.

When he went to sleep, I dove into Downton and then a book, and then writing, because Nietzsche.

Truth may be beauty sometimes, but more often it’s just difficult.

But art, and the gift of being creative, have borne me up on days like today, and carried me forward with the energy and power of a wave rushing the shore.

Art is the essence of life, stripped of it’s glaring harshness, thoughtfully reworked into something palatable.

That’s beauty.


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