Friday, June 1, 2012

Support recommended, not required

I have this cool new AP for my IPhone, to turn everything into an illustration.  

I'm sure I will drive everyone crazy with it long before I get tired of it myself. 

It has been in intensely emotionally draining week.  

The kind of week when I feel like I can't bear to hear one more person's complaints or needs, yet I don't really have a choice. 

Listening seems to be both my work and my job.

Someone told me "I feel SO UNSUPPORTED", which was possibly the most hurtful thing anyone could have said to me, as I feel like my life has been almost completely devoted to supporting people, in that corny new agey sort of way, that requires so much emotional energy. 

There is no measure for support though, so I can't really prove that I was trying hard.  

I can't stand up next to my supportometer and say "see, I am clearly a level 10, two steps above what is required of me."

I came home and cried, and cuddled the new dog, and ate some melted cheese with spoon.  I didn't defend my support effort very vigorously. 

I read a little kerfuffle about a artistic credit dispute, that a friend found herself in.  

One of those byproducts of having something really great happen to you.  

It reminded me of the time either 1983 or maybe 1984 that an artist approached me in a cafe and asked if he could paint my portrait.  

I was used to that sort of line, but it turned out that this was a real painter that specialized in those really cheesy paintings of women's faces that were so popular in the 80's and so I said "sure" and posed for photos, from which he would make this series of portraits.    

There was nothing risque or off color about it at all.  

He painted several large pieces, two really lovely paintings of my face stand out in my memory.  

One hung above the piano at the Metro on Broadway cafe.  I was terribly pleased about the paintings, but I was unpaid.  
When my mother and my then stepfather found out they were furious that I had not been paid.  
I could not have cared less. 
I remember Jack saying "don't you want money? Don't you want a fur coat?"
I did not want a fur coat. What a stupid and foolish question.
I wanted my picture to hang in that cafe.
They made an enormous fuss and the painting came down, from the gallery and from the cafe, and the artist was livid with me. 
He was an asshole of course, and should not have been dealing with a young teenageer with out parental consent.  
He should not have been angry at me.  
It was not my fault. 

It all passed and my life went right back to being as uneventful as always, until 1987 when I went to some sort of event with my mother and it turned out that the niece of one of my mother's friends was dating the painter, all sorts of awkwardness ensued and I felt terrible.

In retrospect I wonder why I felt terrible.  I was a kid.  I was not the one that got angry, or asked for money.  I was not the adult painter that painted a portrait of a child without permission of her parents, but I was the one that left the event early feeling bad. 

So I suppose I said all of that to say this.  I feel compassion when other people are dumped on because something they did or said or wrote, unintentionally impacts other people, and I feel really hurt when other people don't value my efforts to do the right thing.  Sometimes these things are related, and sometimes they just pop up in my life like random memories, or sudden outburst by people that think they can just dump their emotional baggage and leave.  

I suppose I am using this as a forum for doing my own dumping.  That may be why I created this space, or it may be a coincidence. 

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