This piece was done back in 03. I was just finished with 5 months of inpatient treatment for addiction when I moved into a half-way house to acclimate myself to the world once again. One of the things that came back to life while I was going through this process was my art. The disease had almost taken that as well as everything else by the time I was detoxing. Be that as it may, I slowly began to see that my recovery was essentially a recovery of relationships. I had to ask the question what was going to be different this time since it was my fifth treatment. My concept of relationships would be different this time. It was like putting things in order: 1) relationship with Universe 2) relationship with self and 3) relationship with others. I guess I’d never seen it like that before. I’d always thought relationships were something I acquired when I was lonely. Everything else was a commodity I consumed. I digress. Please forgive me.
So while I worked my way through the months of program I also collected a bunch of gel pens on my weekly visits to Wal-Mart (not my choice – I’d much prefer Dick Blick). So with the little money I had, I’d put a buck in the basket and a couple bucks into gel pens. I had a good collection after a few months. I wasted no time putting these nifty pens to work. Sure I made the pictures for attention there in the unit where I stayed, but moreover I did it because of my new found relationship with my art which seemed to be flowing into me from the Universe. It flowed out onto the paper. My job was to hold onto the pen and enjoy the show. I think for the first time in my life I began to feel joy. Then it was time to do more groups.
This picture is just one of a bunch that I did back then. After I got onto this thing about relationships I began to focus on cats because I like them and I missed my two cats which I had to give up when moving into my new dig up there in the secluded woods of my rehab. I did the cat pictures as a way of honoring them and also exploring relationships in the process. It’s almost 7 years since that time: seems more like 7 months. Well, okay – a year and 7 months but not 7 years. I’m still clean and that is simply the new relationship I have with my chemicals. Call it a boundary but it is also a gift. One that flows into me from the Universe and really all I have to do is hold onto it and enjoy the show. I can call it joy I suppose for a lack of better words. My relationship with art – there are no words to describe it. Beauty is like that. No – not my work silly: that power from the Universe.