by Debbie Schroder
I have a song stuck in my head. I think it’s staying stuck because we’ve entered a new year and part of the lyrics are “How am I gonna be an optimist about this?” The song is called “Pompeii”, by Bastille.
This quirky song’s melody sounds pretty upbeat but the lyrics really appeal to my shadowy sarcastic side. I tend to move through the world rather Pollyannaish and most people have heard me say to them, at least once, “Everything’s going to be fine.” And I mean it when I say it.
An important disclaimer: I am filled with gratitude. I have a gratitude candle burning, on my desk, as I write this. Grateful for health, family, friends, work, a roof over my head – the list is truly endless. And honestly, most of last year varied between unpleasant and horrifyingly stressful. Some of the struggles linger and reappear like mist. Some really need to be attended to in this new year. Some are just painful memories.
I think I’ve made good use of optimism as an art therapist and I plan to continue. I can and will hold the hope until it emerges naturally through the soul, into the art and my client’s psyche.
But right now, on a personal level, it’s kind of freeing to flirt with the idea that sometimes the glass is half empty.
I’ve been painting about this because art making is such a great outlet for snarky darkness. One of the miracles of art making is that we really never know what may show up – I’m definitely open to some pink, flowery, warm and fuzzy surprise appearing in my painting. And in the meantime I like the idea of a little music therapy – “How am I gonna be an optimist about this?”