Bleeding the Canvas
Over several years, I worked on a novel that has never been cohesive enough to
release or for me to pursue in a long format. The gist of the story was to expose
the conflict my mind had with itself from the inside out.
The main character was committed to a hospital for mental health, and in the time
between doses he had moments of clarity. In those moments, he wrote to himself,
to heal himself, to get out of the institution. Below is one of his letters.
Bleeding the Canvas
Every part of communication is creation. The part of the writer is quite obvious. The speaker, the actor, the painter, all obvious. Do not forget the role of the reader. The listener, the audience, the gazer, all of these are equally responsible for the beauty captured in a moment, a brush stroke, a melody.
Every time you insult something, every time, you insult yourself. There are games of jest that do no harm, but do you know the difference? Probably not. In the darkness, these games are played. I’m scared of the dark.
Afraid. A fear. The darkness is nothing more than absence of light; this is false. In the blackness feelings brew, somewhat obscure perhaps, somewhat unintelligible, but brewed together, stirred and cooked none the less. People have never truly been afraid of the dark. They have only been afraid of themselves when the light goes out. The freedom of their minds to color their universes in any fashion. Blame the night, blame the dark, blame anything you want, it always comes back to you. Because when your eyes are closed you see a perfect reflection of yourself. A mirror sometimes hints, an iris might whisper, but only the darkness shows your soul. You paint it any way you want it. It is a free canvas, an instrument unhindered by physical bounds. What worlds have you moved with your mind lately?
Are you ugly? Spinning there in your cataclysm of madness, do you feel threatened by what you have created? I know you sit there with clothes on in your mind, pondering the events of the day and what might be tomorrow. I know you wear your clothes in your imagination when you think about the imposing physical mattress beneath you and the chairs and table tops in your room that hold things with such strength. You are sure they will not move in the night. You are certain beyond doubt that the light beside your head will be there when you reach for it. Your mattress is on a box spring, and that, on a frame in turn, on the floor you built that rests on trusses that are braced against the foundation you laid in the firm ground, the strong ground, the solid ground, the earth. Your home is static. Your place is sure. You will never be moved.
Naked butterfly. I can feel the purple dust on my wings of silk. I am sex. Flight has never been so easy. The clouds are white and full of wet thoughts. A dewy blade stands a shade above the rest in a glade beyond your awareness and I alight there on a careless air. Trees are floating around, barely clinging to the soils by rooted hands and feet.
I am soaking like a million bodies in a waterfall washing over rocks of soap. My mind is in a lather, sudsing up, frothy and foamy.
The blade bends as I grow. Unstoppable ecstasy seizes my chest. My heart stops. I have no need. The tip is touching down and I am melting. My wings, at the extremes, folding over and dripping slowly down the rest, have become swirls of puddle color beneath my expanding body. Liquefied, I’m pouring down between the grains. I am soaked and soaking everything. I’m bleeding the canvas. Grab one fiber and reach for the next. I’m bleeding a trail. There is more of me even when it seems I’m done. A trail in every direction. The air, from breeze to breeze, I am the sky, your limitation. I am spreading. Faster from place to space, filling and absorbing, ‘becoming what once was,’ is now changed but the same.
I am stolen. I gave myself away. It is what I see when I look into the eyes of love. What do you see? I am tired and have forgotten, again, why I am writing to you. I’ll be back sometime. Please stick around. Things are bound to get interesting at some point. I have faith in you.