Monday, May 2, 2011


It turns out that I'm a chronic liar.

I go around telling people, even people who love me and know me well, that I'm fine. That's just how I roll. "How ya doin', Barb?" "I'm fine. You?"

But I lie. I didn't understand this until the other day though.

Let me give you a little background before I tell you how I arrived at the ball all decked out in finery. A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog Q is for Quixotic (read it here). As part of the post, I added a video of John Lennon's song Imagine as sung by the cast of Glee. The song kind of summed up what I was getting at in my post, and when I searched it on youtube and found that version, I really liked how different and heartfelt it was.

I received a couple of negative comments, not about my post, but about my choice in using that version of the song. One person, with all the erudite intelligence of a potato, simply commented, "Glee sucks." My first reaction was, "Christ in a sidecar... I pour my heart out in a post and that's all you can come up with?" I refrained and thought about it a minute. Who was I to know whether or not there was any veracity to her statement? I'd never seen a single episode of Glee.

So, I hopped over to netflix, tossed the first season of Glee on my instant watch queue, and went up to my studio to watch it and work on art.

I was instantly hooked. Apparently I'm now a Gleek. C'est la vie. I've been called worse. It's a fun show, decent enough writing, good music. If it's sophomoric at times... well... show me something on TV that isn't. Besides, it's about a bunch of singing school kids. Duh.

Anyway. Back to the ball and my finery. I was sketching out a design, one eye and both ears cast toward the TV and an episode of Glee. One of the kids belted out a song, tearful defiance in his voice. His father walked in, commented that he was really impressed. Said kid shuffled his feet. The father made a rather vague comment about the kid maybe needing to get some stuff off his chest. The kid looked down at his feet, shook his head and said, "I'm fine."

*cue the drums for Barb's impending revelation*

The father replied, "Nobody who sings like that is fine."

I burst into tears.

Nobody who writes like I do is fine. Nobody who creates art like I do is fine. Nobody who plays the piano and sings like I do is fine.

I'm not fine. I've been lying all this time.

I'm one big walking wound, a massive ulceration of all of the bad stuff that has happened in my life. I write out my sorrow and anger. I paint the madness in my head. I lose my emotion to music. I turn my frustrations into humor.

I roll everything I've experienced into one huge flaming ball of passion, and I channel that into any number of artistic and creative outlets.

But, you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. I'd rather feel too much and have to find places for it to go, than feel too little. I'm not fine, I'm a gloriously, beautifully fucked up individual, and I like it that way.

I get to live every minute of my life because I've gotten used to that raw feeling (anything less feels like passivity). And that...

... is just fine.


  1. Feeling beats numb although there are some days I wish for anesthesia. And I lie, too. I'm fine. I can handle it. I got it. No, I don't need help. All lies. But....people like the lies, want the lies. How do I know this? Because on those rare occasions when I am a hot mess and actually ASK for help or the more rare days when I warn people I am dangerously close to coming undone.....they ask WHY? Why? Really? Have you been paying attention? Do you not know me? Really....ding dang....forget it. I got it.

  2. I am guilty!! But I use my not fine attitude to drive me... So, it all works out in the end.

    Keep up the great work! :)

  3. By writing and making art, i am able to say, "i'm fine" and have it contain some honesty. Without those things, i would be much, much worse...and that's scary.

    i have only watched one episode of Glee. But, i trust your taste in most things, so i'm open to really giving this show a chance. My many Gleeky friends will be thrilled, i'm sure.

  4. Thank you for a really courageous post. I feel that often it is easier to say 'fine' even when I don't feel that way because it's kind of expected and often I don't have the time and energy to go into why I'm not fine.

    And yes, the feelings drive creativity, fine or not, give it motivation and expression so that yes, ironically, not being fine is . . well . . often better than fine.

  5. Glee sucks. OK, just kidding. I so get what you mean when you get these doofus comments from people who don't get the point. So here's the point I'm getting: You ARE fine. You are passionate, artistic, you feel things deeply. That's not wrong, that's fine. And I can tell that you're quite satisfied with being fine, as you should be.

  6. "I turn my frustrations into humor"... ah, Ms. Black, I too wear my finery often. You are not alone. But you are, indeed, wonderful. (Mistress Eggplant agrees. :-) )


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