A feeling of disillusionment has come over me.

I am having a hard time trying to make sense of my creative life. On one hand, I’ve been active lately in making art. I haven’t been painting much, but I’ve been creating a lot of pottery, and collaborating on some photography projects which have felt invigorating, validating and effortless. There’s a magical mental place that I’ve stumbled into from time to time in my life, where I have no concern or expectation. I just enjoy the beauty and meaning in the process of expressing something. What makes it so special is when I am happy and surprised at whatever visual product remains. Doing the thing was fun, and then it leaves a mark behind that I can not only enjoy looking at, but I can share.

That all sounds rather wonderful, doesn’t it?

There is a quote that keeps running through my head.

Never take criticism from someone you wouldn’t ask for advice.

A certain negative person has cast a shadow over my self esteem. Chronically negative, they have criticized almost everything I have done. When I recently decided to cut ties with them, they immediately turned to gaslighting me, claiming not to have said the things they said.

I am not being vindictive in talking about this here, since the person has informed me and reiterated that they would never read any of my writing.

For 24 years, I have poured my heart into a story that has meant a lot to me. It started as a science fiction adventure that utilized local landmarks in the town where I lived. I was mentoring high school art students and musicians, who posed for pictures and created a soundtrack for the story.

Those teens grew up and moved away, and the story changed, becoming more introspective, a mirror to my inner life. It helped me manage the challenges of my life on Earth, and even helped me explore my inner child… the child that I was, and still am.

I have also moved away, but I am still working with youths.

I dug my old silver suit out of the closet, and we went out around midnight. I posed for photos in abandoned streets and alleys. At first, we just used the existing street lights, but then brought along some flashlights to create different effects in the pictures.

Like this new city I live in, I am past my hay day, and have begun to question myself. I’ve come to the realization that I am a big old nerd. I can either embrace that, or do away with the costume and just live out my remaining days, taking my heart pills before an early bedtime.

I often say that I create art for myself. It is wonderful when someone else appreciates it, but that is a bonus. Most of my art is never seen by anyone else. I post some of my favorites here, or the ones that seem to carry significance, but few, if any people read this.

Everyone alive has the ability to express what they feel, so I am one voice out of 8 billion. No wonder I feel insignificant.

photographer is 14 years old

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