As mentioned in the previous post, recent months have been spent considering choices of the past, how those choices brought me to where I am today, and what it all means in terms of my future.
When my thoughts turned to my interpersonal relationships, I paused to examine the times I “had feelings” for someone. While those times were seemingly many over the course of 30+ years, there were really only three times when I was truly, madly, deeply in love. Three times when I thought to myself “I could see myself spending the rest of my life with this person.” Three times when I actively attempted a serious, lasting relationship. While those endeavors were varied and unique, they had one crucial component in common: the feelings were not mutual, and never were.
Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote: “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” I’d like to punch him in the throat. That is to say I vehemently disagree with his assessment in the strongest of terms. Those three ventures managed to destroy me on numerous levels across the decades, each leaving less in its wake than the last, until there was nothing left with which to rebuild.
It was these thoughts which resonated one morning around 3am, and prompted me to draw in an effort to quiet my brain enough to go back to sleep. Sleep never came that night, but the resulting artwork turned out to be a triptych.
Triptych comes from the Greek word meaning “trifold,” and consists of three individual pieces which combine to create one larger work. In this case, I created three images – each representing an attempt at companionship, happiness, and love – and together they epitomize the resulting turmoil, emptiness, and sense of failure of over three decades of futility. Titled “Better Never to Have Loved.”