The Hidden Demon: Can You Actually Stop Anxiety From Destroying Your Fairytale?

Illustration by  Louie Frey

Illustration by Louie Frey

One day, a collector came and bought all my available artwork. I didn’t have to worry about anything anymore. I moved to a sunny place and went on being a quirky person. This is how I imagine my life: in the first part, the struggle to make a living out of art and only after that, I could dedicate myself fully to it. And all aspiring artists reading this fairytale for young adult artists know this: art is about transposing your imagination into reality. Dreaming is deep rooted inside the human soul and hope is the best medicine we can take. I must have been on a hope overdose.

The day when the collector started hanging my images on his wall, he experienced a strange feeling of warmth. But it wasn’t the possession feeling towards an imaginary world that seemed familiar and distant at the same time, but the happiness of the artist irradiating over him: now that I solved the basic equation of living, I can go on chasing my true purpose, bringing hope in the hearts of the people. One cannot measure the value of an artist in money, but in the number of hearts the artist’s message managed to reach.

The day when the collector was looking satisfied at his newly decorated walls, I told my lover: Honey, pack your luggage, we are going to the islands, we are going to a place where coconuts will fall over our heads, where we will chase each other naked in the bougainvillea garden, in which the iguanas take an afternoon nap, pack your luggage, honey, cause we are going to investigate what life is about.

Lovers by Ron Hicks

Lovers by Ron Hicks

I will take you to a place where honey flows in rivers, where we will fall asleep listening to the music of those colourful birds of paradise, we will add our inner music to it and go on inventing strange animals to sing for us. I will paint you everyday, asking you not to stand still, but just be, and we will have coconut milk every morning in my studio: a hammock facing the sea. We will make love in these gardens of paradise and time will stretch in front of us. And as we will abandon ourselves to pleasure, we will still try to invent ways to make people see it is up to their imagination to live well. Because I pity those who don’t carry an image of paradise in their hearts.

But then, in every fairytale, something happens, the villain walks in. Telling a story is like putting a magnifier on what we live, we get the dramatic twists of faith, the good and bad, and in the end, the message. A message touching another heart is what gives meaning to the life of an artist. My personal choice of putting this into a fairytale is not random. I remember I was very annoyed as a child by the way adults were talking as if I could understand nothing, when I could perceive oh-so-many-things. I never really wanted to abandon my playful trait and nowadays, as an adult, I am still playing and maybe my greatest accomplishment is that I found a way to make them take me seriously. It’s a bitter sweet revenge from that child with high understanding capacities of the world as it is, with fantasy always trying to make its way through the thin layer we call reality. That thin layer is made of the things we indulge ourselves in thinking they are how they are supposed to be. But we never know what new game to play awaits for us under the corner.

The villain in this story is not the collector, he is still there, gazing at a painting. He has no intention of claiming his money back. The villain in this story is a feeling, it’s called anxiety. Slowing walking in like a serpent in the gardens of paradise, where two young adult artists play with each other among the bougainvillea flowers. Imagine time stretches in front of you, you have nothing to worry about, you are free to love and to pursue your passions. What kind of thoughts will occupy your mind, what will you be thinking about all day? Will you start getting anxiety, dear contemporary human being? Are you still able to enjoy the beauty of nature surrounding you or your natural spirit has been locked by those contemporary monsters, such as money or success in the artificial world you built? Where is everybody rushing and why our natural connection with fantasy has been replaced by only one artificial game, which is still a product of our fantasy, but we all seem to obey?

On an island in the sun, in a bougainvillea garden, during one lazy afternoon, when I was exchanging looks with a half asleep iguana, I started feeling anxiety. That it will not last, that my old acquaintances, fear,  abandon and self sabotage, will show up in the garden of paradise and they will invite me to play a twisted mind game. A very vain mind game, in which we continuously try to predict the future based on our knowledge of the past. When the only time that matters is the present.

If my anxiety will be healed or not, only history will tell.

Laura Livia Grigore is a poet, painter and psychology enthusiast, with a background in space engineering. She likes to experiment with various mediums and types of writing. Her artwork is orientated on emotions, reflecting her opinion that most of the answers we need can be found inside ourselves, although the hardest thing to do is to be sincere with oneself. You can purchase her book here

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