Friday, February 04, 2022

Keep a Diamond in Your Mind


From the Tom Waits' song "Get Behind the Mule".

Never let the weeds get higher
Than the garden
Always keep a sapphire in your mind
Always keep a diamond in your mind

These are days that make me think of this song, because this song is a reminder that very often it is hard work to live a life. For some people they never get a break and never know comfort or love or security. These last couple of years it feels like we are all sliding in that direction, being pulled into the virus horror show and seas are rising and the wind is picking up. Or maybe it's just how I'm feeling because I finally caught COVID-19. I was fully vaccinated and boosted, but even so a breakthrough can and does happen, especially if you take your mask off in a bar and talk to many (6-8) maskless strangers over the course of a night. There was one tiny voice of warning providing a commentary track throughout the night, "This is not a good idea. You really need to put a mask on. You do know the pandemic is still raging?", etc., but it didn't matter. I'm as weary as most everyone else is of this new, shitty COVID-19 lifestyle and just decided to take one night off from thinking about it and that's how I got it. It has been an inconvenience, but only because I was vaccinated and boosted, otherwise I'd likely be in a hospital right now with a tube down my throat or worse. 

So here's my first, and hopefully last, COVID-19 drawing, actually done will the virus was in my system. It's an Ibibio Mask on found on "feereafricanart" once more on Instagram (I need to find some new sources as I hate to fuel Zuckerberg's fortune) I choose this mask because I love the top-heavy shape and Frankenstein-like head bolts. Also the overall look of the face, the wide, full lips and arched, dark eye sockets. It's maybe not my best drawing, but it made me happy to make it while I tend to my runny nose. 

"Keep a Diamond in Your Mind". What do you think that means? For me it means you focus on the positive, on that hard, brilliant piece of you that understands no matter how dark the world gets, you still have something to give. Something I have to give is my art. I make it for myself, but share it because I hope someone else will enjoy it, maybe be inspired to learn more about African Art or find a few minutes to cultivate their own creative life as others have inspired me to do. As I feel my body fighting back against the virus, it also makes me realize that I need to do more, make more art, focus on my creative life, finish the many half-completed projects because time is running out. 

What will you do with the time you have left?