“You’ll be swell, you’ll be great
Gonna have the whole world on a plate
Starting here, starting now”
-Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Stephen Sondheim
If you have read any of my blogs here, you probably already know that I want everyone to be able to see what a wonderful, magical thing life is. The very name of my blog is, after all, “A Sunny Focus.” However, as a person who struggles with depression, I would like to make it clear that this mission of mine is not an attempt to slap a coat of paint over the ugly side of life and call it beautiful.
It’s a funny thing about paint and ugliness, however. I was thinking of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings, and his impasto technique. His art works are truly incredible, with such vibrancy, rich colors, and textures. And yet, having had the privilege of seeing many of them in person, I know that up close some areas are practically muddy swirls of color.
The art featured in this blog was painted by a talented artist by the name of Matthew Priest, who I have had the pleasure of knowing since high school.
When you view the entirety of this piece it is soft and romantic and all around lovely. It is a still life of roses, queen of the flowers. Next, please take a moment to consider the following image:
Now I don’t know about you, but this image does not say “queen of flowers” to me. The colors are nice, but when isolated, it looks like it could be a close up shot of the artist’s palette rather than part of the painting itself. One might even call it a muddy swirl. (Sorry, Matt.)
Inevitably we will go through turbulent times in life. Sometimes life seems incomprehensible, as though the challenges we face are randomly cast at us by the fates. Life can seem ugly. It feels ugly and it looks ugly, but this is because we are too close to it. Those muddy swirls of bad times we experience are there to give life its texture.
Please understand, I am not minimizing the difficulty of surviving the muddy times. Up close, they are not lovely in any way. It is when you step back and view the whole piece that the beauty can be seen.
“Blow a kiss. Take a bow
Honey, everything’s coming up roses!”
Brightest blessings, Sunny
I understand that it is possible to slip into the black hole of depression and not be able to take the step back to see life’s beauty, or if you can see it, you feel you can’t be part of it in any way. I’m writing once again to those who might read this who are in that black hole. There’s hope, even if you can’t feel it. Talk to someone. If you don’t have anyone in your life you feel you can trust visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org . In the United States call 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741
To view more of Matthew’s wonderful and diverse art, visit him on Facebook here.