The Sandbox

Amnesia, Art, Healing

2/26/17

7:04AM

Authenticity

Sick but not so sick that I can’t get a training run in. Or so I think. A transcript and a cup of coffee later maybe I will be ready.

A

How goes the meditation?

S

On?

A

On the complaint. 

S

I want to drop it. 

A

Why?

S

The pendulum is swinging towards love.

A

Love. 

S

There was something flawed that harmed me. And something flawed that helped me too. It was...love?  I don't know. I'm confused. 

A

Could our fairytale help?

S

B?

B

Good morning, S. 

S

How are you? 

B

Well. 

S

You remain in Park Bench Park

B

If you wish me to, then yes. 

S

How are you feeling about the complaint? 

B

We are examining all of its angles. Which is the right way to go about a decision that is quite complicated with repercussions that could effect us. It is wise to hold this complaint, this loaded gun, with care and consideration of its powers. 

S

Can you help me apply our fairytale to this gun?

B

Sure. 

S

It has been nearly two years since the man in the forest filled with paintings severed his connection with the formerly wise woman in the village. We tongue in cheek call her wise for at first the man felt she was wise and was required weekly to pay for her wisdom. 

B

He continues to paint, his forest now filled with over eight thousand paintings, but has also rented a gallery in town. Over the holidays last year he prepares his space, putting up a number of paintings and eventually he begins to invite and receive visitors, some whom decide to pop in for a minute or two and others who stay for hours to absorb his work. 

This direction feels…right to him. 

S

Keep going, B. 

B

Over the holidays he is also reminded, cannot seem to let go of, the pain that the first wise woman caused him. She seemed to be the one that helped him to discover his gifts on the canvas, but the pain of the experience he had with her stays with him despite working for years on these wounds. 

One day, around Christmas, he stumbles upon some photographs of the formerly wise woman and he feels his heart pounding and his eyes fill with tears. Oh how he misses her, how he misses how she made him, once, long ago, feel so loved, so special. 

And while he continues to choose and to hang work up in his gallery he does so with the heaviest of hearts for how could any visitor ever fill his heart the way the formerly wise woman once did. 

With grief, he continues his painting and his gallery work, but the effort feels sad and difficult. One foot in front of the other, he keeps going but he can feel the weight of his heart each day. 

He thought he was better, had moved on, was making a life for himself in town with his gallery. 

But his heart tells him he’s made no progress at all. 

Each morning he paints, however, despite everything. For painting is like breathing to this man in the forest filled with paintings. And as December turns into January and as January becomes February he begins to see that his sadness over leaving the formerly wise woman is perhaps sadness that needs to be addressed differently to dissipate. 

Certainly, he could express his sadness on his canvases like he’d done thousands of times before. 

But deep down he feels that his palette is changing or that it wants to change. Deep down, though scared, he feels that there is something new to be done, new places to go, perhaps a new forest to fill, a new gallery to set up, new paints to buy. 

But the pain of this formerly wise woman seems to be holding him back.

S

Keep going, B. 

B

One evening in the middle of all this, the painter becomes quite tired and goes to bed to sleep. However, once his head hits the pillow he is struck with the pain and memory of the formerly wise woman once again. He begins crying inside himself—crying with the pain he cannot shake and with the image of this formerly wise woman laughing and living without the weight round her neck that he still lives with. 

He lays in bed for one hour, swirling in pain. 

The next morning he wakes. 

And instead of painting he begins writing a letter to the authorities. 

The letter tells the authorities his story, of how he went to the formerly wise woman to help him with his sadness but that, in the end she caused a sadness even worse than the first sadness for which he sought her assistance. He writes down his story for the authorities hoping that by letting them know that he will finally feel less sad. Maybe, he thinks, he can finally buy new paints, happier paints, paints that will create canvases filled with feelings and landscapes new and previously unexplored. 

He reads and re-reads and re-writes his letter, each time making the language clearer and stronger.

For two weeks, he works. 

But still, he cannot get himself to walk to the mailbox and mail his letter. 

S

Why does he not want to send it, B?

B

He is worried, S. Worried that the formerly wise woman will hate him for it, that if he were to ever run into her in the village, that she would hiss at him. He worries that if he mails his letter to the authorities, whether she is arrested or not, she will know what he did. And the love she once had for him will turn instantly to hatred.  

And this hatred, S would be, perhaps unbearable to our painter. 

S

So he cannot mail the letter for he cannot bear losing her love. 

B

Yes. 

S

Did he ever have her love?

B

Oh indeed, S. Indeed. And herein lays the rub. Her love—and the pain and damage she caused—are things inextricably intertwined. To let go of one he must let go of both. 

Which is why he cannot walk to that mailbox. 

S

Thanks B. 

B

Though we still remain without an answer, the question of what is holding us back from making a decision becomes clearer. 

S

Gratitude, B. And gratitude to the power of the fairytale