Saturday, October 17, 2009

It's only a matter of time.....

Gray clouds, big as ships, sailed through the sky. Every now and then a light rain would dot the ground. And determined winds, with chilled enthusiasm, tried to force changing leaves from their homes....albeit too soon.

This was the scene from the front window today.

The desire to draw and paint comes and goes but it is assuredly always brief. Those creative impulses grow more and more infrequent it seems.

What will I do if they cease altogether?

If I didn't have my art and my writing I would shrivel up and die. A slow death that would eat away at my already fragile core.

At this point, I'm too worn out too cry. Good....I'm sick of crying.

Puddles have formed on the uneven sidewalk while overhead the sun tried to emerge. I smiled when the clouds overtook it and swallowed the sunlight whole.

I think I've doomed myself. No job. No real life. I've never achieved any of the goals I set for myself years ago and quite honestly could case less. I feel like I ran out of options.

Each week that passes I feel more and more like a failure. A day older....I'm falling behind that much more. What if it's too late already?

What do you do when you don't know what to do?

The drive in me has become a faint scream that nobody hears. Not even me.

Lifeless. Lost. Trapped, Detached. Closed-off. Disappointed. Worthless. Negative. Unhappy. Unmotivated. Wasteful.

Ah, I guess I was wrong. I'm not too worn out to cry.

The leaves fluttered on tree limbs, tickled by the cool air. Try as they might, they cannot hold on forever. They will fall's only a matter of time.


Manon said...


Pull yourself off the floor!! We've all been there! You're a young, talented young man with your whole life ahead of you!! You've got to see the glass half full.... I know it's hard.... one step at a time.
Just know that you have support here!! Look for any bright spot in your day and build on that!!


naturgesetz said...

It seems to me that it's never too late for art or music or writing. Some people are recognized early in life, some only later. Some do their great work when they're young, some late in life.

Obviously, if the impulse to draw and paint isn't there, it's a factor. But I've heard of great writers who just forced themselves to write for a certain period each day.

Okay, you haven't achieved the goals you set for yourself years ago. Maybe they were unachievable, or maybe they depended too much on factors beyond your control. At any rate, what you do is reset your goals. When you don't know what to do, see what you can do. And if you set goals that you don't achieve, think of what you have achieved.

Perhaps at this point God is nudging you in a different direction from a career in art. Perhaps you would do well to regard it as an avocation or hobby. Perhaps with employment that you are good at, you can derive personal enjoyment drawing and painting in your personal time. (My grandfather enjoyed woodworking and made a number of attractive tables and wooden screens decorated with oriental subjects. Perhaps the things you do for personal satisfaction will eventually be recognized as works of real talent. I don't really know.

But what I'm saying is, don't give up. There is something, maybe more than one thing, you can do well as a career. Maybe for now it's something other than art. But if your earlier goals didn't happen, it's not time to give up. It's time to reset your goals. Replace the unfulfilling day job with one that is fulfilling, and continue to create your works of art.

BTW, the picture of the leaves is very attractive.

Anonymous said...

I want to say something that will bring you out of this state, but having been there all to much myself, I know that nothing anyone says can really bring you out....all I know is to say, just hold on to what you have, your art, your passion, find beauty in the small things, a storm cloud, a turning leaf.....I hope this doesnt sound simple or trite. I always seem to ramble on your blog, wanting so much to help, but unable to do so....I have been were you are, felyt what youve felt...if ever you need the ear of someone who understands, I know how to listen.

peace my friend

light208 said...


I've always found creative impulses hard to pin down. In the end it wasn't until I packed all my sketching stuff away that I felt the strange urge to go out and try again. Autumn is a difficult period, lots of change, a blank canvas for winter and all the more pressure if you're struggling already.

I would say have a look at what you can still do and build from there. Your photos are very evocative and your writing is still amazing. That's talent. It might even be worth trying to scrapbook some photos - maybe take a few a day, until your eye demands you paint.

Hugs. I hope things start to get easier for you.


Anonymous said...

I was there in your shoes 3 years ago this month. My dad had just admitted a 3 year affair that destroyed another family (the husband of the lady he was having sex with committed suicide), my mom attempted suicide, I had just gotten laid off and was deeper down in a depression than I'd ever been before.

I surrounded myself with good friends and they pulled me out of my hole. They made me see the bigger picture and while I hadn't achieved the goals I was after yet, they showed me they were still possible. I couldn't do it alone.

And with many tears came great laughter; with great pain came great relationships. I'm hopeful for you!

Dean Grey said...


I'm trying to pull myself off the floor but it's hard to do at the moment.



Thanks for the detailed comment!

I understand some people achieve success later in life but I want it NOW! It feels like my art is a hobby at this point because I'm not able to make a living off of it.

Just having you mention it remain a hobby made me sad. I would like for it to blossom into a career at some point. That I'm SURE of!

Your suggestion to reset my goals is a wise a one!



It doesn't sound simple or trite at all.

I will definitely hold onto my art and my writing....for as long as I can!


Lou (light208)!

I think you're onto something!

It does seem when I take a break from drawing and painting that the urge comes back again.

Build upon what I can still do? I like that idea!



Thanks for the candid comment!

I'm sorry you had to go through that experience but I'm glad to hear you made it through.

Unfortunately my friends aren't always there when I need them. Sometimes I feel like I have to do it alone.

The fact that you're hopeful for me makes me feel a bit more hopeful too!


I appreciate the supportive words from everyone!


naturgesetz said...

Sorry to have made you sad. I was just trying to suggest various ways you could enjoy creating your art.

jason said...

I try to think in times like this (and lord knows I have them) that it's a fallow time...necessary for a later harvest.

But until then, I'm sending good energy up your way!

elsie said...

Dean - I so thought of you when I wrote this post:

I read the truest/clearest words about depression and how to begin to overcome in this book - I'm all done reading it and I'll mail it to you if you're interested, just drop me a line!

Dean Grey said...


No need to apologize at all!

Your initial comment just confirmed that I want my artwork to be a career NOT a hobby. I was just sad that it's the latter at the moment.



I like the metaphor for depression as an unseeded field.

And I'll take all the good energy I can get at this point!



I appreciate you thinking of me. I will definitely check out your link and might just have to take you up on that book offer!


Thanks to the three of you!


Meeko Fabulous said...

Dean, it's never too late to pick up the pieces of one's life. Who's timeline are you on? Yours? Or the timeline everyone else dictates you should be on? Yea, I should have a degree by now, but I don't. Life happens and gets in the way my dear. Life is what you make of it. I always say, life gives you lemons? Make lemon drop martinis (screw the lemonade). Don't continue to feed the negative feelings that you are harboring, it will only make them worse. It pains me to see such a talented, young, handsome man going through all this, have you considered seeing someone regarding these issues? It may help out more than you know. I hope you're doing better.

Dean Grey said...


Thanks for the kind words but they're all going over my head right now.

I know I need to stop feeding the negative thoughts but that's easier said than done.

I do appreciate your comment though!


Anonymous said...

Hi Dean, I think you are so awesome and I love you so much it hurts. I hope you're doing ok.

Charles said...

I'm 38 and for the most part, I have very little to show for it. I work with special needs kids, and it's not where I saw myself when I was younger as a child, as teen, or as a young adult. It's hard sometimes to motivate myself to do the things that I enjoy doing. If I don't though, nothing gets done. I think, you have to find a way to create that happiness in yourself. For me, what keeps me going is creating new projects. It means creating new characters for a story, writing a new piece of poetry, or just something that will keep me busy.

There is one absolute truth in life, we don't do it alone. Sometimes, you have to break your shell wide open and just step out.

Dean Grey said...


You're awesome too....whoever you are!

And yes, I'm feeling a bit better now.



I appreciate the advice!

You DO have something to show for it though. I think working with special needs kids is definitely something you should be proud of.

I can't tell you how many times people have told me I need to break out of my shell/comfort zone.

That of course is easier said than done!


Thanks to the both of you for the nice words!


suzanneberry said...

So beautifully written and so heartbreaking to read.these frail bodies are not Who we are. Don't despair,all is not as it seems. try very hard to lift your vibration. in this state all you call to yourself is more misery. somehow, somewhere, search for the light, it's always with you. my thoughts are as well.

Dean Grey said...


Thank you for the touching words!

Lifting my vibration? I never heard it put quite like that before!

I will try my best!


Carolina said...

Dear Dean,
I couldn't comment on this post because I couldn't find the words to express in a polite way in English what I thought, but having read Suzannes comment, I have to make it bold, highlight the wise words she said: "try very hard to lift your vibration. in this state all you call to yourself is more misery". Read about the law of attraction, it's not esotheric at all.
I'm very happy for the art mail you got, it's always awsome to find something for you, I can't remember the last time I got something personal on the mail (are invoices personal?)
Best regards,

Dean Grey said...


I'm glad you commented!

I appreciate the supportive words from you!


P.S.: No, invoices are NOT personal!

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

Once you've taken Manon's advice and picked yourself off the floor, take a deep breath. And give thanks. To God, or to the universe around you - for your life (even if you muter "such as it is..." afterwards, your health, the availability of food (because as little as you have it is more than many in this world do) and your relatives that love you. Then be thankful for your wonderful art and the urge within you that drives it. Take a walk (bring your camera) and DO NOT LOOK DOWN. Look at the horizon, at the trees, at the sky. And smile. Even if you don't feel like it. Even if doing it makes you feel like crying (can you tell I've been there?). All of life has an ebb and flow, leaves grow and die, but more leaves appear the next season on that very same tree. Some years are good for the trees, some filled with pests or drought. Same with us. We just look UP and do the best we can. You'll be OK, Dean, just train yourself to pull up out of it, when it feels easier to go down.

Dean Grey said...


You always know just what to say!

I like the notion that we're like trees. Some years are more productive than others and we always have to adapt to the ever-changing elements.

It's hard to be thankful for what I DO have when I'm feeling miserable though. I WILL try!

And you're right. These feelings ebb and flow. I just have to learn to ride the waves until things settle back down again.

Thanks as always, Kelley, for the sound advice!


Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I thought I'd been here more recently but I guess not. I think all artistic types suffer from depression, but you have a ton of support here and really, I think you need antidepressants. Have you investigated that option? I take them and it make all the difference in the world. Your symptoms sound so familiar.
::::::::draggin' You up offa the floor::::::::::: Don't give up, Dean.

Dean Grey said...


I'm not sure I feel ready for antidepressants yet. Or maybe I'm just resisting too much. I'm not really sure.

I'll try not to give up.