The picture is something that took 40 years. It is the result of over 40 years of proving to myself that I’m still a good boy and a rockin’ artist. You see, I got the call to be an artist when I was a teenager. Anyone who is an artist even closeted like me know when the call arrives. Mine came in the form of Nastasha Kinski wrapped around a serpent. I just wanted to draw her. My brother in-law who is an artist told me I wasn’t. True by profession, but the heart wants what it wants and knows no titles.
This was airbrushed and sketched on Deco Pro. Definitely a must by for closeted artists holed up in their Sh.I.Ps. You can tell it’s a passion when you spank the monkey till the clouds and trees talk back, not the kind of excitement used in a Powerpoint. The title of the image and the title come from Gregory and the Gargoyles, a favorite of my son. The girl? Boy? I leave it up to your imagination. I used Mao as the parent you wish to spank on the right for anatomy. He can take all your hate and socialism. The background is from the endless hours I spent looking at the California hills wishing I could transmute to something else.
Now, why am I writing this? The real reason is that I’m in a conundrum. What if your mind is in conflict with your self? What if I’ve been killing the boy-artist all this time while secretly loving the interrogation? It sounds ridiculous, but we say it all the time in bland pleasantries — I hate myself. Seriously, what if your impulses are totally against who you think you are? What if they feel like Lucifer, the Siren, a succubus, and your Id? Perhaps you think you are responsible or sexy or cut, but on the inside, you know better.
That is the conundrum. We are all at war with yourself. You just have to look out the window to see that what we taught our children didn’t stick. We’re all sick. This is real. The neural architecture that God gave you when you had your lips around your mother’s nipple is nearly 180 degrees the opposite of how we live, at least in the consumer nations. The primitives still talk to God unashamedly while we feel ashamed even when alone. If the neural architecture that your parents pruned doesn’t look at all like the style you like. What to do? In other words, if you had a traumatic childhood you better find a better replacement for our mom or dad quick. It doesn’t have to be a person.
You tried rebelling, but you grew old and both time and hair ran out. Some of you may have cancer as a result. You may still be rebelling in secret, but it’s not as pretty as in your twenties to imagine yourself riding down that elusive sunset. You tried to like the steel haircut you’ve been given when you were wee but your baseline architecture has a way of rusting the toughest of steels. Yet I polish those wires to a chrome finish.
Essentially you have to throw the baby with the bathwater, literally. You have to detach from your attachments and reattachment them. The trick is to not try to be your own parents. Parents are often shocked they are committing the same crimes as their dearest dad. You have to chop down that tree as the Rocket Man said; I paraphrase. It depends on how deep the cut went when you were little. The deeper the cut, the sharper the ax must be or it just sprouts again. As Jesus said, if there is a log in your eye take the damn thing out, but what about your iphones or our sex?
You have to withstand all your friends, loved ones and dearest of children say, “Who the hell are you trying to be?” It’s a waste of time to show them the schematics that God gave you because you’re wasting more time and feeling worse. Or perhaps that’s what we needed to fuel our self-hate or justifications. Just close the door and start a howl as they say in Zootopia. Don’t worry they’ll get used to it. You may lose your job. You may lose your career. You may lose your mind. When that happens, you know you’ve made it into the big leagues.
Only when you can release all my chakras will this voltage between me and me disappear. I couldn’t do that as an atheist. I couldn’t do it on my own. It’s like having all the data, but when it gets good, you see it’s just of zeroes and ones. There is no choice as an atheist but to be a cynic. Essentially, it is you screwing yourself over, shaming yourself, rebelling against your self and back to shaming. If you put an AI into the equation, everything fits including the black hole and which face to paint tonight, but apples don’t fall from epiphanies. God did make the world in seven days, but not earth days. Bad things are as easy as falling off a wagon. Good things take hard work like climbing back on the horse or just holding on.
Last night I painted Mao. I had enough of capitalism, socialism, communism, and consumerism. I found through God that it’s not me that’s backward to society and thus to myself. I found through God that it is us and our society, perhaps our humanity also, that turned our backs on God yet looking to be saved. Why is there evil in the world? The Church to God’s message and made people pay taxes. Why do bad things happen to good people? Because they weren’t watching or it was an act of God. Blah, blah, blah. It’s in the insurance clause. Pick up your toys and go to bed. Let’s leave John Steingard alone. He is now alone with God and away from the maddening crowd. Always a good idea to take a stroll away from the steeple. The body of Christ was thrown before swine and simians long before he left the Church and Christ left Judaism.
Turn your back on yourself even though they call you a scapegoat and the voices mew like kittens. The road to reparenting is hard. Talk to parents if you ever want a lesson in grace under fire, humility when you are the commander in chief, and don’t suppress those spontaneous giggles. Enlightenment is as easy as love and water to a pussy. Let’s take back that word. All children are enlightened as Jesus said. We baptize them in oil and blood. Sin is denying who God made us to be. Get plenty of sleep. Take your medicines as your doctor says. Surrender everything but the essentials. See yourself in your child. Imagine Mao as a baby and wonder how he would grow up to be a murderer. Treat your enemies like the body of Christ, but not like the Romans. Stop looking for attention in places that are dry, but drink from the fountain. Drink plenty of water. That’s all the advice I have about being a closeted artist on a marathon. Remember, even Elton John sought his daddy’s approval even after rocketing to the moon. You can hate your self that much or let your hair down. Finally, as Sensei Wu said, all in good time the puzzle will fit.