It’s interesting to see how the mind operates within our little
bubbles of reality that are filtered through our fears and
measurements of how things should be. Our private world is our
most intimate reality with our secrets of what we hold close to our
chest, our personal perception of how we are in the world, and how
others see us.
I recall reading an article of a man who committed suicide because
he could no longer carry the secret of being abused as a child. His
biggest fear was that someone would find out his secret so he
decided that it was better to end his life than be recognised as an
For me this became apparent with the sudden death of my father at
the age of 72. Dad was young in spirit but his heart gave up being
overly stressed trying to endure a worn out lifestyle of catering to
his taste buds. After fighting off the fear of diabetes for ten years,
he was suddenly diagnosed as category 1 and lost the use of his
legs. Literally over night he went from being an independent man
about town who had set himself up quite comfortably on retirement
at the age of 55, to suddenly being house bound in a wheel chair.
As the only remaining member of my family, I was required to go
through his personal effects. As I rummaged through his tight filing
system of a lifetime of documents and family photos categorized by
date, I was happy to see how predictable his character was.
Glancing through receipts from 50 years ago, I wondered if I might
come across some inconspicuous proof that he had been leading a
double life like you see in the movies. But no, he was true to
nature. One thing that did surprise me though was his marveled
collection of art supplies that lifted my eyes like a child in a
chocolate shop. It became obvious that the joy of collecting the
finest watercolours, pastels, paints, art books and materials to Dad
was far more inspiring than actually using them. As a child I had
been conditioned to believe that he was the left-handed Leonardo of
the family and I was no good as an artist as I was right-handed.
And yet as I stood marveling at the mountain of unused art
supplies, the realization that he had produced nothing from it
helped me to reflect in the private world of a psyche conditioned to
believe that he is not good enough.