Pia shares Her Dark Half - Issue #4

My tips and a nudge to embrace your artistic (dark?) side

"A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity." - Franz Kafka

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, which means summer is here, which means everything and everybody is supposed to be bright, sunny and happy, right? Break out that barbecue and six pack! I'm not even going to get into the whole meaning of Memorial Day and how it seems to get left behind. You can't get away from commercials loudly announcing Memorial Day savings or news reports about the insane travel congestion over the 'holiday' weekend. Ugh.

But what if you're not in the mood for cheery and shiny, or worse, being that social butterfly? What if you're just not feeling it yet.. or seemingly, ever?

Well, here's a thought... Express that sh!t! Wallow in it, settle in it and really soak in it...and then do something creative with it! This is your opportunity to let out your dark side, your pessimistic, depressed, doom and gloom, angry and frustrated side. Or, like Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung called this buried part of our personality, the 'shadow side'.

We all have a dark side, like it or not. Most of us just repress it, more or less, because...well, social norms.

The more we deny that we have a dark side, the more power it has over us. - Sheryl Lee

The last two editions, I've been talking about doodling, but who's to say that you have to draw or paint your dark side? What if you can express it by writing? Write what, you say. How and why? Here are two quick suggestions:

Write a dark story based on a disturbing dream or nightmare you've had.

Keep a pen and notepad by your bed. I've had dreams or half lucid moments before waking up that have actually inspired some of my scripts or story ideas. Or, if you don't mind the electronics near your head, use your smart phone to mumble your ideas into a recording app while still half asleep. Having said that, if you've ever had a really nasty nightmare, you probably don't need to write it down....you'll remember it for years. What I'm saying is, write it out and build from it. You might just come up with some really trippy stuff. Release it into the wild by letting it pour out of your head and it might even be therapeutic.

Write a letter to a person that hurt or disappointed you, or even pissed you off big time, and just let them have it!

Has something been gnawing at you for a while or is something making your blood boil with rage? Are you feeling bitter about an injustice? Feeling envy? Pour it out on paper in all its vicious, horrific glory! Of course, don't actually send it off, heh. If you're worried that the letter will fall into the wrong hands, destroy it - shred it, burn it in the fireplace or next witchy bonfire. You might think it's wasted time having written it, but you'll feel better having released it, meaning that scary monster inside of you, like stinky flatulence.


Obviously, if your dark thoughts threaten to turn into action and you are in danger of harming yourself or others, do talk to a friend, a therapist, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 or call 911! There's an international suicide helpline befrienders.org and also The Trevor Project, which provides help and suicide-prevention resources for LGBTQ where you can call or also text. I'm not in any way diminishing real pain or making light of any variant of mental illness.


If you're interested in donating to a wonderful non-profit that deals with these real life issues, check out To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA). They are "dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery."

I found out about them around 2016 when I was going through a rough time myself and decided then to dedicate a whole series of paintings to the subject of facing inner demons and donate a portion of my sales.

Since I touched on the subject earlier, here are five ways to commemorate Memorial Day in a more solemn way and pay your respects to the fallen.

That's my two cents for today, so grab your pen and paper and have a creative and safe Memorial Day Weekend!

Read my previous editions if you missed them before!

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Dark Greetings….and ‘see’ you in two weeks!


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