Out of My Skin

Since this past Friday, I’ve only had three cigarettes. I’m pretty surprised. And I figured I’d be in a state of deep depression or lying in bed this whole time, which hasn’t really been the complete case so far.

For the most part, yes, I feel like I’m crawling out of my skin, even wearing a 24-hour nic patch. I don’t want to imagine what it would be like without one. Normally when I try quitting, I don’t have any smokes at all. I just wear a patch and stop completely. I can go for two to four days like this, sometimes more. Sometimes a lot more. Sometimes years. But I always come back.

Who knows? I may fail again. I’ll keep trying. This time I have Hannah holding onto a half a pack and I ask her for one when I really need one. I’m also sucking on a Healthvape, which is a vitamin/amino acid-infused e-cigarette instead of a nicotine one, without harmful chemicals in it, which I plan to use on a temporary basis. I don’t seem to use it much anyway, as it’s not very satisfying.

I have been reading a book about trauma and resiliency, and according to the shit I’ve been through, it’s an absolute miracle that I don’t have way worse habits, behaviors, or addictions than smoking. I think I am giving myself a huge break this time around and trying not to feel so fucking guilty about smoking here and there. And if someone else wants to judge me about it, too bad. They don’t know my story.

In the meantime, I’m trying to stay busy, but there’s not all that much to do since I’m finished with the last painting for my show now. My to-do list is getting shorter, and I finished one of the two websites I’ve been working on for friends.

Here is Rabbit House, the last oil painting for my show. It’s a 16 x 20-inch on gessoboard:

Yesterday I finally started on something for the new series, but it’s not even as loose as I’d planned on being. It’s somewhere between “trying” and messy, so it’s still not quite right. I will have to take another whack at it today if I have the energy. I got completely worn out yesterday standing at the easel. I don’t think I got enough sleep, or maybe my body hurts from starting to do Tai Chi in the mornings.

In any case, I will see how it goes during the next painting session. I just can’t show what I have so far because I’m not yet confident about it.

I keep thinking about how I want to approach the new work and I do have a few old family photos, but I’m starting to think that working from photos may not be exactly how I want to bring about the ideas. I just don’t want “posed” kinds of imagery. I want to address ideas, not so much reality. I only want to infer some reality, so I don’t know why I’m using photos at all. It might just be to warm up to the ideas, like a place to jump off from, for now.

Tomorrow, I’m bringing all the work into the gallery for my little two-person show here in Joshua Tree. I’m looking forward to it. I just hope I’ll be able to stay awake for the reception next Saturday, as it goes until nine at night, about two hours past my bedtime. No, that’s not a joke. Since moving to the desert, I’ve turned into your grandparents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.