There are a lot of funny thing about this post. The fact that I drew fashion sketches with prosthetic legs that look like knotty toothpicks. The adieu at the end that sounds like it came from a suburban spirit guru. Get the laughs out. Ha ha. It’s all ridiculous, isn’t it?
It is, but there’s another layer to it.
There’s a thread of tenderness that runs through this post. Something inside of me was grasping for light. I was clawing at the idea that there’s an antidote for the kind of pain that runs deep. My foot, at the time, was held together with three, 3-inch long screws. At every moment, my leg throbbed. I couldn’t escape it, so it leaked into my drawings. And in a way, it felt like healing.
Another thing that inspired these sketches was a photo that I saw on my faaaavorite street style blog, The Sartorialist, of a woman in an orange skirt and low-backed tank biking down the streets of new york.
The strength of that woman gave me hope. Her situation is obviously far more serious than mine was, more severe, more life-altering. I did eventually heal, and I can walk, in moderation. So if she could survive, could live, could ride a bike and look stylish while she was at it, then I had absolutely no excuse.
Beauty really is strength.
It’s one of the reasons I ended up at art school. Art helps people cope. It did more for me than therapy ever did. The things that made me feel like I wasn’t alone – a photograph, a sketch, that woman’s style – are all different forms of art. Of aesthetic pleasure. Beauty.
This is one of the more basic facts of life, that beauty = pleasure, but it is true that as humans we sometimes forget the facts that ground us.
Instead of leaving you with one of my present-day hippie wishes for good vibes, here’s a quote that I’ve always liked.
Art washes from the soul the dust of every day life.
I do love me a good bath.