Drawing while depressed


I didn't feel too great all yesterday, depressed. Then headache and neckache. Just sitting around stewing. I pondered taking a load of stuff into the garden and setting fire to it, and deleting this website, but it seemed too much effort and appeared to require a decision on my part.

About 8 in the evening feeling myself descended into an absolute pit of despair I consulted the Lingqijing, throwing the 12 'magical tokens' of this little-known Daoist oracle I often prefer over the Yijing these days because it's so whimsically picturesque. The Lingqijing told me there had been a bureaucratic mix-up in Heaven and I wasn't scheduled for death just yet, that the Master of Fates was looking into it and had dispatched the legendary doctor Bian Que to come to my rescue, when he arrived he'd be giving me one medicinal pill from his jewelled flask, returning me to life. Such a wonderfully convoluted explanation from the oracle, what you might expect to get by ringing up the council, at last brought a smile to my face. This is trigraph #59, which I'd never had before, 'Rescue and Assistance' (above).

I cooked dinner, in a lighter mood, but I sensed the black dog had not gone away. Later I struck my head with a few implements, once so hard I thought this is quite an easy way to damage yourself. I violently kicked a few things I had lined up in the hallway into the kitchen, smashing a few plates in the process. Then I sat again on my cushion, knowing thought would not get me anywhere.

About 1am this morning I thought oh bugger it I'll do some simple pen and ink drawings, that requires less of a set-up than for a full-size painting, and restricting the palette to black seemed appropriate, get it out of my head and onto paper. I'd been intending to do some drawings for a while anyway. Somewhere during the set of 8 drawings, #8 of which I destroyed, I guess Bian Que must have administered the magic pill, by the time I tore up drawing #8 I felt back to normal, as normal as it gets for me. As the drawings fit my scanner I felt in the mood to make a small gallery.

Artistic merit doesn't seem an issue here, although I'm not the best judge of that anyway in my own work. To me a mark on paper carries what you might call a magical signature, and it seems adding such drawings to this site adds another layer of 'me', whatever that is. I was complaining in an earlier journal entry that email does not carry the impression of a human hand; it occurs to me that making more drawings in various states of mind is one way to place here something more human.

As for the reason for my depression, I don't know, not really. I can't say as I care. Possibly the intense sunspot activity at the moment affected my mood, who knows. I haven't correlated sunspot activity with my own life for a long time, but certainly it was during a period of intense solar activity when Alan Moore persuaded me to bring back KAOS after a 13 year absence. This was the aptly-named solar flare NOAA 9393, which had a very large, very strong, and complex magnetic field. See the BBC piece on it: Giant sunspot erupts. The BBC have also covered the current sunspot activity. According to that report, advice is being issued to spacecraft owners, so if you own a spacecraft you owe it to yourself to get the latest information on this developing situation.