From 7/30. This was a bit daunting (mainly the papery skin) but it came out all right, if maybe a bit soft.
I have never completely lost the feeling of dismay that used to paralyze me before starting a painting. Not the "blank canvas" fear that all kinds of people feel at some point or another when faced with a new beginning, which is totally understandable to me. This was a different feeling that could seep into my mind even when I was miles away from the work or the easel. Sometimes it was just the dread of failure, but more often a twisted, strangling mass of sadness and anxiety leading back years into the past - like heavy ropes or cables that are tethered to places now a thousand miles away, and every time I stood alone in front of a painting those thick cable ends would spread out to suffocate me and fill my mind with desperation for as long as I stood there. Or so it seemed, and on some days I was able to hack effortlessly through those cords and just get on with it. I don't think I experienced panic attacks, as it was all in my head and the spell would simply break in the presence of another person. That is what depression is like, or at least a form of it that I was familiar with for a long time.