PTSD and Art
Climbing out of the dark...
I’ve been an artist my whole life and hold a BFA. I am a Novelist. I’ve been a teacher of Emotionally Disabled teens. I spent 25 years on Capitol Hill dealing with a wide range of issues, including funding for the arts. I am a combat vet with a disability rating of 100%. (PTSD & Purple Heart).
I’ve written a column on art for over 20 years: conversations with other artists about the arts and life.
Travel with me from our dark times to the beginning of time, to the beginning of art—the beginning of humans.
Visit the caves where magical lions and aurochs came to life on the walls, and our ancient ancestors clung together. There was a force they could feel but not fully understand—a power greater than they could see or even imagine.
Reach out from the bad times to the conventional to the magnificent. Consider the passion of art through the ages, the nature of beauty, the mysteries of the unimportant, the empty spaces within us and the power of silly dreamers. Look at the concords of color, dwell in personal ecosystems. Go beyond appearances. Watch and listen to nature and nature’s song.
We’ll see our bouts with PTSD as possible stepping-stones to a higher reality.
This climb to the spirits who welcome us is based on my twenty years of conversations with artists and my personal experience with dark times. Like so many, I have climbed into the light, experienced the supernatural, only to slip back down into the lowlands of depression and hopelessness. You may have experienced something similar and you are invited to join the conversation.
Join us in the communal prayer that is the beauty and vision of art. There will be art—my paintings and others’—and maybe the masters of the past. There will be hope and yes, tears, but there will be the brightness that comes to us through the cosmos, reaching for the spiritualism that makes vision possible.
We have PTSD. We all experience traumas that turn us inside out. But we can get beyond the dread, fear and anger by reaching for the magic we can feel if not fully understand. We can find it in the arts that orbit the spiritual—Supernatural Art.