If you read Fake Fan: A Short Story, you would have noticed that the main character was afraid of the ocean. It was an important part of the story development, but it was true of its author as well.
That’s right, folks. I am deathly afraid of the ocean, and really any water I cannot see through to the bottom. It sort of makes me laugh, though; if you were to ask me what I was afraid of the ONLY thing I would claim is water.
I’ve stood outside gazing up at funnel clouds wondering where the tornado was going to hit; I’ve experienced deep earthquakes; I’ve seen lightning cut through a giant tree not 100 feet away; I’ve dealt with all sorts of weaponry during my time in the military; rattlesnakes; giant spiders; scorpions; bulls; nothing compares to the amount of fear that wells up inside my chest when I think of deep, dark, murky waters, whether lake, river, or ocean.
I’m currently working on a short story titled Where The Sea Separates, and I began to notice this underlying theme of aquatic settings. This new short story deals with a child-like (the main character is a child) fear of the unknown. In a lot of ways, I think this is my subconscious way of dealing with my fears on a shallow level.
I recently saw a post on Facebook, it was about 6 minutes long or so. Normally, I don’t sit through such long videos. But it was all about a personal idol–you may know him, Jim Carrey.
This video, Jim Carrey: I Needed Color, spoke heavy words to me. It made me sit back and analyze what it is to be an artist (of any type, not just painting as he is in the video). The highs and lows of getting something right or wrong with
your work. Trying new techniques to get people to focus on the subject matter, to make them think and feel and understand what the artist feels, it is all so heavy. He talks about facing his loneliness and using his art as an outlet but that even bright vibrant colors become dull to his eyes. Just as in my work, if I use a word I like too often it becomes mundane. Played out.
He goes on to describe how paintings of Jesus are some of his favorite. He speaks of his relationship with a higher being almost nonchalant. A friend of mine described it as a modernist’s view on religion. He speaks much about allowing people to peer into the eyes of Jesus through his paintings and recognize they aren’t alone but even he never claims a religion, just that he feels very passionately about the idea of Jesus.
I myself am agnostic but the main focus for me was that painting, or in my case writing, about what you feel your psyche NEEDS to express is important. I’ve always been told to “write what you know,” as I’m sure any serious writer (and some not so serious writers) have also been told. So, if I am so terrified of the water then I must be incredible at describing the feeling of this fear.
I’ve come to the conclusion that writing about water is most likely going to be an underlying theme to many of my works. I am excited to think of dealing with my fear through my favorite activity and I hope I deliver the way I know the subject matter can. Maybe someday I’ll get in a shark cage and submerge myself deep out at sea… art is a dangerous thing.