Frustration: a painting in words

Frustration is defined as the feeling of being upset or annoyed when unable to achieve or change something. It’s a kaleidoscope of mismatched emotions born of my own inability to change, to develop in order to achieve what I possibly can. Personally, it is for – the most part – a two-toned orange and black fighting for dominance and you know you’re down for the count when they beat each other to a nasty mud brown.

Frustration is sometimes like being thirsty. So thirsty and the thought strikes you that, yes, the Sahara had to have been an ocean ages ago. A tall glass of water sits before you. Your frustration can be defined by either not being able to reach it; or having it in your hands, the condensation dripping wetly down your knuckles but finding that you refuse to drink.

Often, no … many times, the orange wins and the black and mud would swirl down and away into the abyss of a sinkhole. And it’s fine for now.

And it’s fine for now.

Then there are other times when the black wins. No escaping it. I mean, that one endeavor of the living is to live in full colour, yes? Meaning that the black is always slinking around the corner with a mean roundhouse. But I digress. The black wins, leeching the cheerful orange (reminiscent of the 70s and Volkswagons) into nothingness. Like how the pupil-blackness swallows the irises – when frustration becomes desperation and your skin isn’t your own anymore.

Eventually, it mellows out into flat dejected sorrow. Without an end and no warmth in the summer. Interestingly enough, flavour-wise it can be any and everything: from a nostalgic ghost of a Werther’s Original hard caramel candy to the eternally disgusting licorice.

It’s everything you wish you never felt. And when you dig and claw yourself out, or ideally if you grab hold to the hand offered, you begin to heal. You begin to heal again. And you wonder if anything in the dark will just fade and become a bad memory, growing distant with every new beam of sparkling orange shining from the window.

Maybe it will, in most cases at least. I imagine that some people would think that would be ideal, perhaps it is. Me, I’d hate to forget and make the same mistakes that led me to that vampire, frustration. At the same time though I don’t want to live in a state of constant fear but in perspective. To walk on the straight and orange path and as far as possible from the wide and black.

 

Notes: This is a revised edition of a journal entry from June of last year. I’d written this in a shaky state of mind and I’d felt the destructive pressure that had built up inside bleed away with each pen stroke and had a startling thought: for my years of writing I hadn’t fully understood, until then, the true measure of catharsis that writing has to offer. I was humbled and immensely grateful.

Also, while drafting this post I realize I write to myself in the second person POV which, when I read it to myself, feels okay enough. I wonder the effect on others who happen to read this. I’ve seen somewhere before that this POV has been noted to make readers uncomfortable, depending on the subject/content matter I suppose.

What do you make of frustration? Do you recognise my painting? Has it hung on a wall you’ve passed, or is it a vaguely familiar image behind your eyelids?

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2 thoughts on “Frustration: a painting in words

  1. The analogy of the desert is what I struggle with daily, I can’t find the glass of water to calm me down in my case and I can’t return to the oasis of peace until I’ve found it. If that makes sense?

  2. I understand exactly what you mean. That in itself is your definition of the word. It feels like being scattered sometimes? Thank the powers that be for coping mechanisms like music, books and good friends, eh? 🙃

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