These are words on paper, but they are more than just words on paper. Expressing them helps me to feel better. They are therapy.
Why would I need therapy? Does there have to be something wrong with me? Can I not put words on paper, and perform other creative acts, as a way of having fun and maintaining a healthy mental balance?
Other creative acts can be drawing, coloring, dancing, singing, or making pieces of art from pieces of garbage. Any form of creative self-expression is therapeutic. It may help to heal emotional wounds, but it also provides a way to play and relax. If we can get past caring what other people think, then we can have fun doing all of the above and more.
Here is a self-portrait. I was not looking in the mirror when I took out my crayons and drew it.
Some people will look at my self-portrait and say, “You can’t draw.”
And I will say, “Yes, I can! I drew this self-portrait, and I can draw other pictures, too.”
I know what they mean, being the serious and critical adults that they are. They mean that my self-portrait, and all my drawings, fall far below the specific academic standards set by The Adolphus J. Glinkenbroomer School of Art.
I do not know who Adolphus J. Glinkenbroomer is. I do not care that my art would not qualify me for admission to his school. I had fun drawing my self-portrait, and it makes me laugh when I look at it. That is all that matters.
By the way, I do not own a bluish-purplish sweater. I took artistic license and gave myself one in the portrait. And I purposely colored it with scribbly lines, along with brown scribbly lines for my skin, to thumb my nose at my Sunday School teacher.
My Sunday School teacher was one of those spinster types that you do not see anymore. They must have become extinct. She had her hair in a tight bun, a long pointed nose, and wore cat-eye horn-rimmed glasses.
When I was five years old, my Sunday School class would draw pictures from Bible stories. These were the stories our Sunday School teacher read to us.
I do not remember which Bible story I had drawn and colored, but I was proud of it. I was sure that God was proud of it, too.
When I showed it to my Sunday School teacher, she said, “Your coloring is sloppy! It looks terrible. You should color in straight lines all going the same way, so the colors are smooth and not scribbly.”
That is all she said about my drawing. I was crushed! I did not understand because my coloring did not leak out past the lines of the images I had drawn. I colored the way I had always colored. I never knew that it was “terrible.”
There are too many people like my Sunday School teacher who are quick to criticize. We fear what these critics think, and buy into their judgments. And then we say things such as, “I can’t write. I can’t draw. I can’t sing. I can’t dance.” But we can write. We can draw. We can sing. And we can dance. The question is, “How well?”
But that question is not important. Who cares whether your creative act does not meet specific standards? What is important is self-expression through creative activity. Playing and having fun, like we did when we were kids, is good therapy and helps to maintain a healthy mental balance.
Okay. I got these words down on paper. I feel better. I am done.