I had a very interesting conversation just yesterday with a fellow artistic soul. This person and I do tend to have deep intellectual conversations when we talk. Perhaps thats why I find myself more and more drawn to having conversations with this person.
One of the things they asked me was that, as an artist, did I often find myself in isolation by personal choice. It took me a moment or two of thought, but as I sat there contemplating how I should answer this very apt and deep question, I discovered something about myself; something I'd not before realized.
The truth is that I do isolate myself. Im not sure if its because I am an artist, or perhaps because of I am who I am. Is it the "tortured soul" syndrome that causes me to do what I do? Occasionally there are days at a time, or even weeks, when I refuse to answer my emails (except for a few very special people) and I wont answer my phone, or even check my voicemails for long periods of time. Ive often told myself that its because I'm busy, and sometimes I really am, but thats because I make myself busy. Truth be told, there are times I'm sitting down doing nothing but thinking for a bit when my phone will ring and I'll just not bother to answer it. Am I too lazy? Am I worried about the phone bill? Perhaps I'm too deep in thought? Sometimes I'm too immersed in my work... but the truth is that I do isolate myself.
I often shut myself away in my room for days at a time. I go home after work, close my door, strip down to nothing, and write, or clean impulsively, or organize something thats already been organized 5 times in the past 3 days, or I'll write, or I'll look out my window for hours, or draw, or think, or shower, or drum my fingers, or lay face down on the floor doing nothing, or just plain GO MAD!
Am I mad? Have I lost my mind? There are times I wonder that myself.
I mentioned stripping down to nothing. From what I understand Vincent VanGogh was much the same way. He was much more comfortable without his clothes on, but the hospitals made him wear them anyway. When in the privacy of his own room with the door closed, he was nude much the way I am. Did he clean and organize impulsively? Did he push away those who loved him, but yet search desperately for that far away love that seems so illusive? It's painfully obvious by the scenes he would paint that he did often watch out of his window for hours, not really sure what he was looking for and yet always searching. Will I cut off my ear someday to try to prove my love for someone? Somehow the ear cutting thing doesnt seem like me. Perhaps mailing a favorite teddy bear to the one I love would be more like my style.
Id - In Freudian theory, the division of the psyche that is totally unconscious and serves as the source of instinctual impulses and demands for immediate satisfaction of primitive needs.