The story about a road


I believe a relationship exists between thinking and walking, more so when your path takes you along less trodden routes. By nature I’m a solitary walker. My mind working better when my legs are moving and void of conversation. A recent holiday along the Solway coast, unearthed memories from younger legs revisiting an old route by way of an evening walk from Kippford to Rockcliffe. My companions on the journey were brooding clouds, short-lived showers and recycled sunlight from the embers of the day. Good fellows I would say.

Years of working from home, building a business that would ultimately rob me of time, and before I knew it nourishment for the mind, saw me isolated from people and places for long blocks of time. This isn’t healthy for the body or mind. Isolation and solitude can cause writers and artists to be more likely to suffer with bipolar disorder.

I exchanged greetings with a young couple sporting two fine looking spaniels. My own black dog (not to be confused with mans’ best friend) was fortunately absent from exercise on this particular day. Under a black sky trimmed with grey and more rain on the way, I watched the young couple pass and disappear from view, I wished a wish to bring back the time that passed me by too.

People do suffer for their art, and clearly some art stems from suffering. Does this make painting and writing the most dangerous professions in the world? It’s no secret that creativity and mental illness are connected – the death of Robin Williams was, perhaps, a sad testament to that fact.

As I descended into the warm overcast evening of Rockcliffe, I sat on a bench and stared out to sea. This painting a memory to thoughts of making up lost time.

12 Replies to “The story about a road”

  1. Wonderful painting. I can see a lot happening there. Its okay to walk alone. That being said one should try and find time to communicate with somebody else every now and then. Hopefully the result is a lot of smiles and laughter!! 🙂

  2. Beautiful word picture and water color.
    You have not lost any time – you think you have – unless you have been drinking it away or drugged up for years and years.
    My partner talks like this because he has Celiac Disease and the experts tell him he is supposed to be depressed all the time. He just keeps choosing to focus on the negative self talk and eating things that do not keep inflammation out of the brain. I know I have been there and done that too – but then I decided no more.
    Didn’t you choose to have this work and spend this time because you chose to have a family and a home and share with them? I have to remind myself that I gave up my notion of no marriage or kids when I was 30 – I have angry moments all along the way, and some lasted for weeks and weeks and included every cookie on the planet, but then I had to choose to get up and live in the moment and move forward. I gave up my career 5 major times and the Lord knows I wanted to be Julie Andrews or Joni Mitchell and I could sing but not do theory ( or math of any kind) I still had to get up and choose. I do not want to make my children feel badly or that they were not wanted or that they are responsible for my depression. Do you think that they do not know that you think your work is “mind sucking”? because they do know….every child I have ever met blames themselves for their parent’s depression and thinks they are thus fated.
    Paint a word picture of your perfect lovely job and work….what about it makes you happy and continue doing the due diligence to achieve your goal? What kinds of funds do you make and how does that money create what you love to do?

    My partner says, but you have had cancer 5 times you know what to do….Yep I do but I take my time getting up to embrace change…cause one of those cancers took away my ability to sing…now that was easy to deal with….I had to find my own ovarian cancer – pay $30,000 for a hysterectomy and then have spent the last 20 years trying to find relief from huge embarrassing sweats, depression, and shaking hands, and too much to see here in print….I just have had more practice changing my thinking…lots and lots and lots of practice.

    Robin Williams end is a very sad story, I do not know all the details and yes he was a profound artist – but he inspires me to live more fully and to find the life I want to live and damn it I wish I knew what that was going to look like. It does not give me more definition of depression to add to the list or permission to resign myself to that list….I love to read and can easily escape into reading…..but I am not making a living.

    Walks are very good and often solitary ones are the best…well, I take Zip with me for the 2 mile ones daily.
    I guess these days I just want to shake people and say choose something different – not doing that is a waste of time – Mark Twain an often depressed fellow says: “Get up in the morning and decide what your attitude is going to be and with practice it will be just that.”

    You can delete this – feel free…

    I guess at 65 I choose to say what I feel

    1. I appreciate your kind words and have re-read several times. There is nothing I take for granted and I thank god each day that I’m, alive, have a loving family, children and wife. I’m lucky to be distant from perils of this world. I look out of the window and feel privileged to live in country, where I’m free to vote, state my opinions, eat and drink well, know if ever I’m sick there is a national health service that takes care of all regardless of how much we earn or where we live.
      Sometimes (usually towards the end of summer) I get the same sinking feeling time is slipping away.

      There is no easy fix other than to make the most of every day and be productive as possible. When the black dog growls it’s because I’m aware time is no longer on my side. I need to fill in the gaps where I did nothing but work. My writings on this blog are often too personal for public sharing. Most of the time I’m taking to myself, trying to work out the whole reason for being here. I’m aware that such ranting may be better locked in my head or private from view, but then there’s that black dog barking for me to put up and shut up.

      Sometimes when I walk him it’s a good thing for us both. He’s not loyal or even a faithful companion, just part of me that makes me who I am and I hopefully drives me to be a more creative and productive person. I envy your long walks with Zip.

      Take care and thank you for your kind and supportive words.

      1. I so enjoy your real words and feelings and I believe that helps me see into your stunning art – yes we all have rhythms to our creativity and if you are searching for meaning in life then you are a living breathing, painting fable and that should be shared over and over again – out loud – out loudly. We all need to hear it, because your brush teaches us feelings which we are often so out of practice reading that words draw us into the link
        I do my best writing walking and in those moments as I awaken.

        Within each life span there are peaks of imagination ( about ages 4-6) We don’t understand the width and depth of our world or family until about age 10 and the peak of Creativity is about age 65 for most of us. So this discussion you are having about time and your future with it is right on the money for your movement into your most creative zone of your entire lifetime.
        Each event you have participated in is part of the development of your creativity working towards your peak. You are in for the biggest change in your life….no lie….you may have to address some hormonal changes and physical changes – most people in their 50s must radically change their eating patterns and switch up their exercise routines, but people who do, live much longer and with more JOY than you can ever imagine.
        I just finished reading GRAIN BRAIN by Dr. Perlmuller ( I think that is his last name) because he has pulled together all the current research and come up with some amazing life changing ways to eat and get off medications. Need a new lease on life – following this guys recommendations for a month will give you energy to burn and time to spare…
        The Black Dog is your own voice to bark you into your creativity – no lie a guardian angel of what magnificently is to come into your life…..Yep you need him and his darkness at least for 30 minutes every day…then he needs to go into his kennel and Doris the happy energetic needs 30 minutes to think and fantasize out of the kennel out of the darkness…

        Come on Use the black dog and your fears to the fullest….just like every Autumn we must let go and see what leaves us, but you have the creative peak coming up – get training and preparing for it’s magic… sky is the limit ( and our own self-talk) You have amazing talent and work and funds will fit right into place as you make room for the big event

  3. Hi Keith, I like your painting but am feeling saddened by your words. You sound depressed. I’m not going to tell you not to be cause that never helps. The exercise will. And your drawings are all so good. That should help too. I would love to be able to draw like you do.

    I hope you are feeling better when you read this.

  4. Hey Keith. I love this painting. Your sky is superb! All drippy and wet and ready to drop some rain. The contrast of the textures in the plants and the calmness of the water make this a wonderful scene. I am thinking of you and hoping this blue period lifts for you.

  5. well I like the ‘painting’
    when out with the Bear I don’t talk to him or myself. I’m just part of the landscape I’m passing through !
    Time is a human invention something that exists, in a practical sense, only by virtue of the machines we develope to ‘measure’ it.
    In point of fact, the thing we are measuring is created by the devices that do the measurement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: