Tuesday, September 04, 2012

something like stamina

I'm fascinated with artists, she said.  I love reading about their lives.  You know how they say that so many artists are melancholic?
Apparently, the part of the brain that can obsess over dark things like death and pain and nothingness, which is depression more or less,  is the same part of the brain that allows a person to obsess over the infinite challenges of art and produces something like stamina.
I don't know.  Or focus.  The focus required to complete one long query.
Am I making sense?
text is from the novel, Irma Voth by Miriam Toews.


  1. Mind if I just sit and sign while soaking up the atmosphere of your photos? Is this near your home?

  2. Interesting thought, and useful line of enquiry/research...
    I love the photos of the ancient glaciated rocks; they bring back good memories of living in Nova Scotia, which at first I found such an alien environment.

  3. The photos are of the painted rocks, a favourite place to take our boat when we are at our cottage in Georgian Bay. About half an hour away...you can walk on the flat rocks and be amazed at the way nature works and breathes and is so eternal.

    We had two children with their spouses for the labour day weekend, and the weather was as if from heaven.

  4. "Am I making sense?"

    I hear this phrase echo. (After sitting up late "arguing" in the margins of a text about women writing by a woman...

    Who owns voice?"

    Are these rocks "melancholic" to be eroded away by the water? Why is depression or darkness associated with thinking, or even looking at ideas of death, the nothingness? Its an act of being awake too; of taking that energy into life, empowering the light of it. The snake that bites its tail, becomes whole, not "hole"

    The rocks are stunning to contemplate, all of them speak uniquely of "touch" in a way; and the reflective water too, of touch, calm no ripple mirroring which is meditation.

    We had a touch of heaven for weather this weekend then the water and sky went black, suddenly thrashing--perhaps it was contemplating depression :) I was glad not to be out in a boat.

    Am I making sense.?

    (how often do we all wonder this...)

    love your posts!

  5. maybe it is just about intensity coupled with the desire to be understood. i the part of the brain that houses joy can produce the same results. perhaps the melancholy comes from how often it is so hard to communicate. how easily what we make can be misunderstood. and how difficult fame is.

  6. Makes total sense to me. Focus is so difficult for me -- there's so much I want to do that I rarely seem to focus on anything for long enough to produce something I feel really good about. Little things aren't a problem for me, but pulling a lot of threads together to create something really unique in my own voice, is seeming to be a lifetime effort.

  7. Stamina accompanies solidity. Contemplation requires reaching into the silence. It's not always a dark place but it can be full of depth. It can be probed, punctured and moved forward. Somewhat like the tracks of the glaciers in these beautiful rocks. The journey is long, the underpinnings deep.
    Wonderful visual representation of these thoughts! Thanks for that.

  8. i just finished a book about story and it touches on these things. your photos bring the writing to another place, judy. beautiful.

  9. Funny, this subject came up with my therapist today - the depression I live with keeps me from being able to do so many things. But somehow I can always stitch, and stitch, and stitch. Somehow the repetition soothes and distracts me.

  10. Well, It makes sense to me. I can believe that both depression and creativity can be consequences of a way of interpreting reality. And as far as I know, chemical connections between neurons can be the causes of the different ways of construing our thoughts.

    I believe that it is a way of being in front of life (depressive, reflective, introvert...?) that makes us look for these "infinite changes", that makes us be always be wondering and wandering. In a word, trying to create art.

    BUT, I also believe that when this unhappiness becomes an illness, that is, a real depression, it is very rare that you can make proper reflections about what you do, without distractions.

    I believe in balance. Times to be obsessed about pain, death, nothingness… and times of clarity to order all those thoughts and discard what were just bridges.

  11. I have been studying the Enneagram.....and discovered I was a 4 in that system of personality typing.....one of the traits of a 4 is 'meloncholy'.....and I discovered, although I have cried many tears in that state....that in the past it has been a safe and deeply feeling state to BE.....I am trying to stay out of it....that meloncholic state, as it does not really serve me....but I can see how it is connected to creativity......I love your exporation Judy....Thank you. Always food for thought. Also, I don't believe to be 'meloncholic' necessarily means to be depressed........

  12. The strange thing is that the tendency or rather the risk to develop depression is inherited. It is not the only factor (disease, bad stress, pain, all what life may offer...) but a very strong one. It doesn't say that you get it but that under certain circumstances you will get it with a higher propability than others... The strange thing is why it seems that it is important to have these traits. The strive to development, to solve problems, to find new solutions, to discover new things, regardless of what... it is all conected to the trait "to think too much". To have a balance in life is important to go on and to have a life at all... but both sides are inevitable to each other.

    And after all... the question is whether one would trade this risk for all the other things which go together with it. I won't. Even if I really suffered for a long time. Not that I ever want to repeat it, but it makes me who I am. My way of thinking, seeing, sensing and also caring. It was the reason why I fall but also the reason to accept that there is something wrong and the will to change that (and even accepting help).

    Many of my friends told me that they are a little bit jealous of the depth of my emotions and thoughts, of how compessionate I can become and with which enthusiams I go around in the world. They also say the love it to be around me or travel with me because they start to see things different, from a new viewpoint.

    I was and am often surprised when something like this was told.

    But for me it is a little prove that it is really true, that there is no single "trait" for melancholy or depression but rather an intensity to feel, live and experiece the world around which in itself bears always a risk.

    I don't know if it is really worth it all. People around me which have a different view on the world are often quite more contend and happier in their life.

    But on the other hand this is not important. Because if I would have the chance: I wouldn't not trade it at all!

  13. Saraccino, your comment gives new meaning to 'soul' sister....I feel connected to you from here....as I have been surprised to hear similar comments from friends.....it is not easy to be considered one of those who feels 'too much'...or thinks 'too much'...but it is a beautiful deep place to BE.....as long as one comes up for air from time to time.....if we are not seriously depressed or ill from this.....I believe we do have a choice.

  14. mom im so glad you posted this, i have been reading irma on my journey.

    she is so funny. and dark. i like it.

    love the photos too. that place is tooooo much.




Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx