This post is going to be a bit self-indulgent and rather obnoxious, I fear. But, I’m trying my best to just feel better about things. And it’s a full moon right now, so my emotions and thoughts are super intense at this current time. Anyway, as I was feeling sorry for myself about my plight (perpetual singleness at age 42), something occurred to me. And I thought about how if I was happy in a relationship, I probably wouldn’t have as much to share on my blog. Or with others in general. Because when I’m tortured, I’m constantly learning. And constantly creating. So, just like Florence Welch and Fiona Apple, two of the most romantically angsty musical artists I know, perhaps my pains are not in vain.
See, I told you this would be a bit obnoxious. For one thing, I’m comparing myself to two musical geniuses. And I’m not saying I’m not creatively talented, or deep, or amazing. I’m just saying, it’s Florence and Fiona. And I’m just Libby, The Goddess Attainable.
The other obnoxious bit about this post is the fact that I’m being so melodramatic about my life. I’ve never suffered abuse and I have so many gifts of love in my life. I’m simply 42, recently single, and not happy about it. Does that put me on a level with the tortured Florence and Fiona? Or anyone else suffering in this world? Absolutely not. But, I think I can still make some comparisons here.
In my article about “4 Ways To Create Meaningful Art,” I talk about darkness. And how it often really fuels my creativity. I don’t want it to be this way and I don’t love that this is my process. However, because my art serves such a purpose in my healing journey, it makes sense. That I create best when I’m experiencing emotional darkness and pain.
“You need to go to war to find material to sing.”-Florence Welch, King
After my breakup, as many of you know, I created a short series of Haiku art. That was centered around imagery and grief surrounding my relationship with my mother. However, I do believe I was channeling a lot of my ex grief into my mom grief. Grief is grief, and my mom emotions, at the time of creation, were much easier for me to access. I also always feel so inspired by images of my mother, more so than images of any ex love. And I can easily feel emotions of grief and pain simply by looking at an image of my mother. Therefore, photographs of her were an amazing catalyst to aid me in processing my romantic grief.
I also know this work was more about my ex than my mother. Because I would create a new haiku whenever I was starting to sink, thinking of him.
Read my related post about “Making Beautiful Art About Grief And Loss Is Really Helping.”
Mom Haiku 14, mixed media on paper, 2022, image and words dimensions 2 ¾” x 2 ½” paper dimensions 12” x 9” © Libby Saylor
FLORENCE AND FIONA
I discovered the beautiful and angsty Fiona Apple when I was in my teens. And I was forever changed. She was my number one, ultimate, goddess obsession for years. And she’s truly amazing. However, she’s tortured AF. And her art tumbles out of her, endlessly. Because she’s a woman in pain, trying not to be. Or, who knows, maybe she’s not trying to be pain-free. Either way, her art and her life are intertwined. And as an angsty, love ridden teen, she spoke my truth, over and over again.
Florence is equally tortured. And I feel like as I’ve grown as a woman, I’ve transferred a bit of my obsession from Fiona to Florence. I still love them both. But Florence speaks to me so often now. She longs, and opens, and wrecks herself for love. She puts up with bullshit, but is also wise enough to know she does. And ultimately, she always tries to seek the light when times are dark. She’s amazing.
MY LIFE IS NOT IN VAIN
Anyway, I’m trying to just make the best of things at the moment. And sometimes wonder if I would simply not have as much wisdom to share if it weren’t for my pain. I always think of Florence and Fiona as literal vessels of pain. I’m not kidding. It’s not a glamorous role to play by any means. And I’m sure they can’t help it. And yet, where would I be without either of them? The world would be a lot less lavender and gold in my eyes. And so many aching nights would have been that much more strained for me, without the comfort of their relatability, and their strength.
I would LOVE to imagine that I might be that for someone at times. Or that, at the very least, my pain and heartache has helped others in my path. I was born to share my feelings, talk A LOT, and create art that is unafraid and raw. And maybe I’m not saving millions of young girls from their lovesick emotions. But maybe my path is not just for me. Maybe it’s for others as well.
Damn, this sounds conceited. And I really didn’t want it to come across this way. I also just might be trying to make the best of my situation by deciphering why my life is the way it is at the moment. And if I can convince myself that my single-ness is for a good cause, I guess that makes me feel better. Either way, I hope you can forgive any obnoxious offenses, and I hope you enjoyed this off-the-cuff post of mine.
What music do you listen to when you’re feeling sad, or restless, or scared? Do you ever feel like music has saved you in times of darkness? And can you relate to my feelings of angst, whether or not they are romance-related? I hope you are not suffering! And yet, at the same time, if you are, I hope you have beautiful muses to guide you, like I have been so blessed to have! xo
Untitled, mixed media on paper, 11″ x 15″ 2022 © Libby Saylor
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Featured photo obtained here
Fiona Apple photo obtained here