Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stories from the street

Stories are the life-blood of a person. They make us who we are. They help us understand one another. How we think. How we act. The decisions we make. The values we hold dear.

I met an artist the other day who told me about how he started painting. Why he paints what he does. He said that he had a rough childhood growing up. He was abused, and he couldn't handle the stress of it all and wanted an escape. So he started abusing alcohol and hard drugs, and eventually found himself in rehab. He sought out counselling, resisting help at first until he found a person whose story he could relate to as well. They suggested he try out art - so he thought about it. And here he is - 29 years sober, an artist for 24 years. He paints with watercolours and fills in the top with oiled pens and symbols from Carl Jung.

Despite being a dropout, he reads a lot of Carl Jung psychology, and his paintings are supposed to portray his 'unconscious.' He said that he has a lot of trouble painting life around him, and that he finds solace in expressing his inner self instead.

I have to say that in that one soul was the talent of a dreamer, and I took home one of his paintings gladly. It's beautiful and is hanging on my wall right now.

It's kind of amazing to think how much strength is in a person. How someone who might have been labelled a failure or a reject has more strength that I think I could ever fathom coming up with myself. That man gives a gift to the world through his hands. He shares a part of his heart and his mind with the people who come in and out of his life through his art, and in taking a piece home, perhaps I am, in a way, also taking home the story that made it.

Let's not give up on one another but always have hope for tomorrow.

See Terry's work here.

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