It's a cloudy, drizzly day here and those kind of days make me feel lazy. So, I'm taking things slow, puttering around, relaxing, wishing Mother nature would decide to either rain or not. As I've been puttering, I found myself looking at this painting, Lonely Reach, and it made me think. I can't really say that what it makes me think about now was necessarily the inspiration for the piece at the time I painted it, but, it could have been in there. In any event, it's what I see now.
What I see is essentially myself, in two ways to be exact. First, I see young Carl, the Aspie (although at that time, undiagnosed), the odd one out, the guy who never joined the group, the guy who marched to the beat of his own drum at a time (the 80's) when conformity and being a part of the "in" crowd was where you wanted to be. It was a strange existence, both lonely and beautiful. Yes, I felt like an alien, dropped here on Earth for some unknown reason. Yes, I grew tired of the constant questioning as to why I didn't just "toe the line". Yes, this dance called life often annoyed me and made me feel alone, as if I was actually parked on my own secluded island out in the sea. But on the other hand, my separateness, my strange, mysterious, solitary brooding, seemed to draw people to me, they wanted to know me, to come to my world in a sense, to hide away in my island paradise. I was stuck between being cast aside and in great demand, and at the time, as a teenager, it was both a horrible and a wonderful place to be. Horrible to feel like a stranger, horrible to be in a world I neither understood or wanted to understand. Yet, oddly exhilarating and nice at the same time. Nice to be wanted. Nice to be the centre of attention I never asked for or wanted in the first place. Such is the paradox of life, I suppose.
As I got older, and now have grown into what can only realistically be called a (cough, cough, gasp!) a middle aged man, I look at this piece through slightly different eyes. I long for that secluded island, I want to jump in that boat, and row to it. Maybe not in a physical sense, but as long as the island is in tropical waters, a physical sense would do me just fine! But more in an emotional sense, in the sense that, now, there's no paradox now. I know I'm different, I know I will always march to the beat of my own drum, I know I see and feel the world in a way that's unique to me. The difference now is I have no angst about it; in fact I love it, and now, instead of you asking to come to my island, I'll actually invite you for a visit.