Back in the day, we had a little kitty that we named Fuzz L. Furr–or rather, Fuzz had us. He was the scruffleyiest craziest, most phobic, socially anxious kitty that I have ever seen. He came round to the back of the house one day in the home we lived in when the 3 boys were in those wonderful middle years between 5 and 11.
And of course we started feeding him. He was the most homeless looking cat you have ever seen. We tried to catch him a few times to brush his matted tangled fine gray fur or other such nonsense and he would flee and stay gone for a day or two.
But I don’t think we realized quite the extent to which Fuzz was a severely neurotic cat until he ran up one of the trees because some fear of some sort–way up about 30 feet up and John, the man of the house at the time who had a kind heart for kitties–built a basket rescue system with a rope and a pulley designed to be thrown over the limb and pulleyed up, and of course with tuna in the basket, Fuzz would jump in nicely and be pulleyed down to safety.
It was a death defying way up in the tree even for a woods kitty.
So this basket and pulley making and throwing one end of the rope over the tree with some sort of brick attached and aiming not to hit Fuzz took the better part of a morning. And we were all watching cheering John on in his rescue attempt and wouldn’t you know it–and looking back you can predict the ending but we had no idea that Fuzz would rather leap to his death–30 ft off the ground than accommodate the rescue by actually allowing himself to be rescued.
Yep, When the basket got up to him, he jumped and we gasped expecting instant or maybe slow death–but you know Fuzz scrambled off and seemed just as healthy as before-which was not very. We didn’t see him that time for days.
The moral of the story, of course, is that you can’t force a rescue unless the something that you want to rescue wants to be rescued or at least will allow it.
What do this have to do with my art and why I paint?
Well the truth is that I am a recovering rescuer. Most of my life I have been highly motivated by “basket cases” pun intended–rescuing animals, people, friends, enemies, anyone in my peripheral vision was prey for my uninvited rescue attempts.
To clarify– a rescue is something you do when someone has not asked for it–very unlike the really good thing that you can do when you say yes or even no when someone asks for your help.
But hell no, Fuzz had not asked for, nor was he open to any kind of rescue.
He would obviously rather leap to his death than be beholden. ( Excuse the bit of anthropomorphism.)
Anyway, part of my recovery system was to become a therapist which involves an actual agreement between therapized and therapist in which there is an exchange of money which delineates the boundaries sufficiently.
Furthermore and wherewith, in order to keep my boundaries in my personal life I need some sort of outlet: that creative rescuing energy needs to go somewhere!!
So I invented painting. Actually it feels like I invented it because it was the first time I ever did it. Actually I think I started shortly after the rescue–or actually non-rescue of Fuzz.
And painting has indeed rescued me!
It gives me a non-peopled outlet for my energy which is exactly what I needed growing up,
but resisted it,
because my mother who was very smart,
but with whom I often did not see eye to eye, suggested that I would be quite a fine artist–that I had the eye–that I could draw–she could see the talent.
I didn’t believe her because I didn’t believe in her in that way
though I totally believed in her being the 2nd female doctor in Winston-Salem and graduating at the top of her class at Duke Medical School–hey, that’s ahead of all the boys in the medical school class about 65 years ago!! Me Mum was brilliant in so many ways.
So that’s how I got here and that’s my tale of how I came to rescue meself with me art–
Sorry, I’ve been watching an English drama on Netflix–Happy Valley–which is not Happy, but quite stirring and addicting especially the Yorkshire dialect of “me this and me that!”
I love you guys! ❤