Art is about mark making. Artists in the main, are interested in making THEIR mark. Trying to express their vision. Trying to connect with others. I’d say that’s fairly universal. After that level you get into the fascinating array of approaches that can be used. The sheer variety of the creative paths is mind boggling. And that’s humanity. But the point remains that we want to be heard, be remembered, be present. To make our mark.
This morning I read an article by Kate Stone Matheson about how disability can make you feel as if you are fading away. It articulates that deep fear on my heart that Parkinsons et al will steal my personality, my core being, me. To a degree I be able am already under considerable siege. I have noticed that I can step away from voicing my wants and needs a bit too readily. Others can anticipate what I ‘need’ a bit too quickly. My opinions can be drowned out or sidelined a bit too easily.
I started this blog over ten years ago as a way to give myself a voice. I wanted my children to know the real me, what I was like before PD took my abilities and put them in a blender. In fact, it’s not documented a decline. It’s documenting a process of transformation. I have dropped some external badges of identity such as job, marriage, big house. But I have developed other, more authentic markers in their place. Art and writing are my tools. Discussion, debate, education my media. My ideas are my marks. And my actions should reinforce those marks. Literally hammer them home.
The article’s author has Parkinson’s and she talks about how she makes her mark, forcibly! I used to say I made ‘art with a megaphone’ … using visuals to communicate the realities of my life. But I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface and this article has given me a bit of a kick to get cracking with it. Have a read and see what you think. Then go out and make YOUR mark.