This 'space' has really become a place that I can come to and work on my soul. I say this word, soul, lightly and with a spirit of general orientation to myself and to anyone interested, caring and brave enough to read this. I have been thinking about how to broach the topic of mental illness here and I have been thinking about other artists, well known artists, that were mentally ill at one point or another. Vincent van Gogh and Goya come to mind. It's not like I need those models to make me feel alright about my own diagnoses but I think it does comfort me to know. I must be prepared though in my soul to face my own lot head on and with no appeals to others ultimately. That's how it feels in the end anyway. My story is hard to describe and even harder to explain. Suffice it to say for now that I had a mental breakdown and in the process of that I abandoned believing in life and all its wonders. I had a trist which I still equated with a kind of love because that's just the way I am but it was not to develop into anything more. Then I started smoking cigarettes at around age 31. Never smoked at all before that and just felt like the world was an empty, sick, even grotesque thing. I began to unravel. I couldn't even function cynically and more rightly critically. My life became like a desperate prayer for I didn't and still don't know what. Praying felt dead to me and empty of all lifeblood, true emotion. I can't go back in my life. So many changes have taken place and I know that this sounds like a journal but I keep those in notebooks when I need or want to do that. This is actually something else. It is about doing art. It is therefore about living in some aspect and shining as I have mentioned. It is about letting out the chains that bind and letting go of beautiful, loving memories to make way for the miracle of life that is still unfolding for me personally. This feels like writing a book that is so loose it doesn't all tie together, it is just typed *written as the feelings come to me like when I used to paint and make videos. It is a way of making art for me and is a way that I can access that pureness the purity in me still that says defy your lot, shine! Shine, boy. Shine your heart out because this may be it!!! I'm not afraid of being mentally ill or even having gone through mental illness and being found to be healing in some way from it and moving on with a totally unanticipated, unexpected life. A life like nothing I would have ever imagined. Life, the real life, not the daydream, not the nightmare, the balance of those realms into a real human life!