Humanizing Death

Have you ever wondered about death? The exact moment of death? That cusp between life and the after; when a soul crosses over into the other dimension or dissipates into nothingness forever?

It's pretty intimidating isn't it? Uncertainty. So much we don't know; that we really can't know with any sort of stability. This thought has been burdening my mind for about a year now, that I hold a summer long gore-fest on Netflix with my fiance, that ended with the very real and disturbing documentaries, Death Scenes: Part I and Death Scenes: Part II, accountable for... The content of these films were horrifying to say the least. I couldn't grasp how real it all was and how large of a discrepancy there existed between Hollywood flicks and the real deal. The extent to which I was desensitized, or so I had thought, due to being exposed to faux-gore since my love for horror movie's originated back when I was... five, maybe? I couldn't believe how raw this footage was... It was repulsive. I didn't expect to have the reaction I had to these film's in the slightest... I was sick with dread for these people, thinking about what was going through their minds just before death happened. How terrified they must've been... And it really opened my eyes for the first real time, to the fact that I am not invincible. And I too, will be confronted with the moment of death at one point in my life. It will no longer be me observing the passage through the dimensions, it will be me, the active passenger.

This scares the hell out of me.

And I swear I didn't have an issue with anxiety before I came to this realization... Some will attest to the belief that the creation of religion boils down to this very fear... And I think that's all right. If the believed influence of a higher being, a higher purpose and power, is sought and believed and can counsel people in times of despair, stress, anxiety, etc... Then right on. Why would anyone want to take that reassurance away from another? Destroying another humans hope source to fortify your own is ridiculous and exactly what is wrong with the world (observe every religious war since the dawn of... religion). Just let it be is what I say. Because in the end, what it boils down to is we're all scared...


The Panic Loop

Panic attacks, my newest nemesis.

I experienced my first panic attack Fall semester 2011 in my German class going over a homework assignment. I was just sitting there listening and what-not when I felt a pain in my left arm... That was all it took. I thought I was having a heart attack and flipped out. My heart rate went so high I thought it was going to explode out of my chest. I thought about standing up and leaving but I couldn't even move. I was confined to my desk, getting dizzier and more nauseous by the moment. Fortunately, my abnormal psychology class had just gone over panic disorders the week before so I was able to recognize the signs and calm myself down before the class was over. I remember violently shaking afterwards and being terrified it would strike again. That sole experience has changed me to this day.
Some days I was so scared of it happening again I would skip classes... Or I'd go to class sit in the back where no one could see me and mentally walk myself through steps to keep me from wigging out the entire class time. Either way, my focus was not where it needed to be. That semester was easily my worst to say the least.
They had me on medicine for a while, which helped a bit I'd say, however, I have never felt 'normal' since that first experience.
Driving has always been an issue with me, so as you could imagine, that's gotten worse. I do the whole deep breathing and all but you can only distract your mind so much when you need to be focused on the road.
It really drives me mad thinking about how some panic disorder could so easily steal so much life from me. I feel like a prisoner in my own mind some times.


I could really use some glass right now.

Glass is the one medium of art I still feel I can connect with.
It's the only one where I can just do, as opposed to fear doing. Which is ironic in a sense considering it's one of the most fragile, expensive, detail extensive and at times, most painful forms out there. In any other medium I have this starters anxiety where I'm terrified of making a mistake so I just waste a good amount of time drawing and erasing... Glass is different in the sense that it is all time based. You have to jump into it head first or you'll never be able to make anything. I kind of like that forced motivation...

Glass is so fluid and amazing. As the artist, my only job is to shape it into something beautiful, but glass does as glass wants. It's elasticity is only as good as my skill of manipulation.
Glass is about down to the wire decision making, as I am fully familiar with the fact that the difference of one second can be the difference from a beautiful creation and the entire piece you just slaved over literally exploding into thousands of shards. But that is glass. Things break, a lot, and you get burned, more often. C'est la vie.

I miss the energy of the studio. Glass students and instructors working together to help each other succeed in their visions. Regardless of your class rank and experience in the medium, everyone would do anything they could to help you succeed. And the second the piece successfully came off the punty everyone would explode with cheers. It was awesome. I had the most inspiring art instructor, to date, in that class too. Joel fucking O'Dorisio. Wow. What a man. I've never encountered a more down-to-earth, helpful, hilarious and exquisitely creative person. I had him before for a 3D foundations class and I could appreciate him then, but experiencing him in his own element in glass was just awe-striking. He was incredible.

A few pieces I made during the semester...

If the opportunity to experiment in glass blowing ever arrises for you, I cannot endorse it enough. It is without a doubt one of the most incredible experiences out there.

A link to Joel's page follows. The man is a genius.


Well... It's been awhile...

It's been roughly... 2 years since I've last been on here. Revisiting this blog has been interesting to say the least... I'm disappointed quite honestly.
I used to be hopeful and ambitious... Now I'm just going through the motions, climbing the great mountain of higher education... Student loans encompassing me all the way. I was thoroughly disparaged to discover I was no special snowflake, in the slightest. I used to be like, an artist... Or so I thought. I discovered my heart wasn't in it like it should've been. I was great at what I did (Graphic Design) but it was such an empty heartless field. I felt like a processed cow... Force fed bullshit then harvested of my hollowed production. Soul purpose was producing useless, soulless garbage that would help some indifferent, blood-thirsty corporation draw in the attention of ignorant sheeple across the land. Only to sell more products to an incredibly wasteful society that already has too much of everything as it is.

No, no, no, that certainly is not my idea of a happy living. I couldn't help contribute to this consumerist fudge fest. So I reverted to my always beloved psychology with a healthy minor in art (couldn't let those 2 semesters fraught full of art classes go to waste now) that was back in '10-11... I've since been beaten down by the math Gods... Discovered tangible mediums of art I can actually put my heart into (GLASSBLOWING) Thrived in understanding the depths of psychopathology and embarked on grasping the German language. I start German III in a couple weeks, if all goes well I will be studying in Salzburg by summertime. SO I suppose I've been academically successful, you could say...

But I certainly don't feel that way... Maybe I just expected more out of myself by now. I guess that was unrealistic of me. Or maybe I'm subconsciously staging these boundaries... Setting myself up for failure to condemn myself, for... what? I don't know. I've been in such a strange state lately. I'm unhappy about many things but for very few, if any at all, reasons. Depression and I are certainly no strangers, but I don't think that's it this time.

I want more out of life and I don't know where to find it. I recently discovered the sense of fulfillment I can achieve by outsourcing my energy into somethings larger and greater than myself, like the humane society, but it's hard to find the time and energy for volunteering once this semester kicks off. Meanwhile, I'm trapped in my hometown working at a place I used to love and in fact was able to derive that sense of fulfillment from, but have since found it to be... to put politely, lackluster and disappointing. It's hard to be in something for the right reasons while those in charge, who are supposed to care, are utterly superficial and insidious with their intentions... It's really draining and it kind of hurts my soul.

On top of that, I've discovered 98% of my "friends" are life sucking leaches who are only in it for themselves. To them I was free psychological advice, nothing more. As if I could ever need someone to talk to in return you know... Whatever. I cut people like that out of my life as soon as their true intentions show. Unfortunately this leaves me with quite the mental burden. And as luck would have it, my fiance, the one person I could always count on to proactively LISTEN to me is at AIT in Fort Gordon for the Army. He's been gone since Early March and still has until late September until he can come home. This leaves me with so much stress, to do so little with...

Which is why I've returned to this here blog. I stopped writing for a long while and it took a good deal to start up again. Alas, I need this ventilation for the sanctity of my sanity. And go figure I am reunited, as I write, with that self-revelation, epiphany that used to greet me at any end of all of my works... I understand these feelings of mine now... I've counseled myself into understanding through this very article.

Writing, it's been too long you and I.