She called me just to talk, like good friends do. I asked her, “What is going on?” She said, “I am kind of blue. Have not been myself lately. Don’t feel like doing anything. I stay in the house unless I need to go out. My roots need a touch up. My eyebrows need to be plucked; they are starting to look like Frida Kahlo’s eyebrows. And you know, the worst and hardest thing is being an artist and being artistically blocked.” She continued, “The thing is, I just can’t paint at all. I know I am probably going trough my blue period, like Picasso did, but the difference is that I am already forty-two years old and cannot afford to stay in my blue period for long. I don’t have time. I have to hurry and figure out an answer as to how to step out of it.”
I smiled on the other end of the line and answered, “Oh, I understand, but you know, feeling blue and down is healthy. It’s actually a natural reaction to feeling great. And it can even, at some level, be positive, for great creativity can come out of feeling blue. Feeling blue is different than feeling depressed. Being blue is just a mood that passes like a passing dark cloud. We all periodically go through ‘blue’ moods.” My friend jumped in quickly, adding, “You mean just right before we grow?”
I replied, “Yes, just like growing pains. The blue time is our mind telling us that it is time for a change of some sort. Don’t you think so?” She paused before saying, “Yes, I guess I am blue and bored. I don’t feel like doing anything. You know, I had started a painting, but it has remained half finished. I cannot touch it.” I listened to her and then said, “Come to think of it, sometimes boredom is the mind’s way of saying it is no longer hungry for something and of making us aware that it is time for us to step back from the play of our own lives. Yes, get off the stage and look at the whole play as just a spectator. Stop all the things which are not good, and replace them all with nothing for a while. Sometimes ‘nothing’ is the right thing.” I continued, “Right after the silence of that ‘nothing’, there is suddenly room for something good to happen.” After I finished, I noticed that there was a silence on the other side of the line, and I could tell my friend was listening and thinking.
She sighed and finally responded, “Wow. How imperfect life is and how imperfect we are.” I answered to that right away, “But come to think of it, maybe life is perfect being imperfect. Even imperfect people with flaws are much more interesting than people who are perfect. After all, maybe we should not strive for perfection. Maybe we should strive just to be who we are.”
I added, “By the way, have you noticed how tremendously powerful and touching Picasso’s blue period paintings are? She replied, “Yes, I love them too. They are great.”
Later on, when our conversation was over and I hung up the phone, I thought to myself, It’s all okay. We are all allowed to go through periods of our own Picasso-blue mood as long as we don’t stay there too long and as long as we are able to manage to come out of it from the other side, painted all over in a different bright color.
Read more about Picasso’s blue period: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picasso’s_Blue_Period
Images via Wikipedia and Google Images