For those who struggle with mental illness, there are good days and bad days. Even good moments and bad moments. These moments can change quickly, in the blink of an eye, depending on the situation or mood we find ourselves in. When we notice ourselves being in the midst of darkness, it can feel as though we’re drowning, gasping for air, pleading for light, and as if we are being tied up by our own emotions. It’s a scary place to be. Sometimes, that place feels inescapable, like prison bars closing in around us. It can feel like somewhere so familiar because we face it so often, yet so foreign because we find ourselves lost and searching for answers. However, when we are finally freed, the bars slide apart and we remember that the light will shine in. These moments and feelings juxtapose each other and knowing when the good will take the place of the bad can be unpredictable. The piece exhibited, “Duality”, represents this concept.
Yohan Daza, the artist, captures with his ink drawings the feelings of Scott Triezenberg, the musician, in such a beautiful way. Scott is passionate about his music and it is a form of healing for him. He prepared and put the guitar together. Yohan is an artist that works hard to create awareness for mental health and provides healing through his art and vision. The back of the guitar shows a woman ensnared by the vines of depression. These vines pull tight and hold her down, but the thorns also cut her arms, showcasing the affliction of self-harm. The woman is seated and leaning down, it’s hard for her to even try and look up and face what is in front of her. She is naked and vulnerable, and she feels trapped. Little does she know of the beautiful wings that she has behind her. When we lie in the darkest places, it can seem impossible to remind ourselves of all of the good in our lives, the beauty that lies within and to find our reason to live. Sometimes, all it takes someone else to remind us of these truths. With the guitar flipped over to the front, you can see on the headstock a butterfly that has told the woman of her beauty and helped set her free from the vines. The woman now sees her worth and is confident. She is clothed in white purity and grace. Her hair is long and loose, and she smiles and looks up. Her wings have grown to their full potential and wonder. Warm and comforting sunflowers have sprouted and surround her. She is free.
When times get hard, we should do our best to be butterflies. We don’t always know who might need it until the moment arises.
“There are only four words that mean so much more than ‘I love you’, and those words are ‘I’m here for you.’”
It is the hope of the creators that this piece will touch, inspire, give hope, and bring healing to those in pain. Be well today.
Matt Posthuma, supporter of the Find Your Reason to Live movement.