Since writing my Good Things Jar post with my video tutorial, I’ve been thinking about art and its connection to this blog.
Before I started Daisies and Bruises, I knew I wanted to write about art and depression, because they are two things I’m passionate about. Art has been a key instrument in my battle with depression, and I wanted to make art more accessible to the world of mental health.
Little did I know how much punch that little tagline would bring to my writing and my life.
Almost two hundred posts later, I think it’s time we re-examine what The Art of Living With Depression really means. Each word in that line was chosen carefully. Ignoring “the” and “of,” what do the rest of the words mean?
To me, ART is much more than a subject in school, classical paintings, and kindergarten finger paints. Yes, I love art and I love crafts, but the word itself can mean so much more.
Dictionary.com defines ART as: “The quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.” That sentence makes me swoon!
But beyond aesthetic principles and what is beautiful, ART to me means “practice”. The art of _____. You could put anything in that blank space, so really, art is all kinds of things. It is the form and function of life.
It also means “balance.” It’s something we do from our first breath to our last. We practice the art of living.
Which brings us to the next word: LIVING. We all know what the word means but I chose it for a special reason:
So much of my mental illness is negative, but I want to live despite my depression. I want to live with my depression. So this blog isn’t “The Art of Surviving Depression” or “The Art of Existing with Depression” or “The Art of Dying with Depression.”
It’s LIVING. Up, on your feet, indoors and out, in the sun and the rain, today and tomorrow and the day after that. It’s breathing and smiling. It’s crying, it’s FEELING. It is the whole spectrum of what we call LIFE.
DEPRESSION is the last word of our tagline. I don’t need to define it; you know what depression is by now. Yes, it’s the basis of this blog, but I also feel like it doesn’t have to be part of the tagline, because this blog is about more than depression.
You don’t need to be depressed to feel the wide spectrum of human emotion. We all feel all emotions. People with depression spend more time feeling sad, apathetic, hopeless, alone, and all those other dark feelings, but even if you don’t have depression, you still know what feeling hopeless is like. We’re all human, depressed or not.
I want this blog to not only be about the Art of Living With Depression, but also simply the Art of Living. Depression is a part of life, for some of us, but it isn’t bigger than life itself, though it sometimes can feel that way. It’s just rain clouds in the vast expanse of our skies. Rain is a part of life, it nourishes the ground, it feeds the flowers. Rain is water, and we need water to live.
I feel the rain clouds stirring, a storm building up, emotion ready to pour down, cleansing this earth. Maybe after the storm, life will sprout. Hundreds of thousands of flowers can grow, trees can root their way into a solid foundation. After the rain comes sunshine. The clouds can block the sun but just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean the sun isn’t there.
I hope you will join me in thriving from the storm. Let’s live the Art of Depression together, and define what it really means to be human in this world. The potential is limitless. We are limitless.