www.eds-art.net
www.eds-art.net

Artists finish their work ~ An audience completes it

Thank you for visiting and sharing Ed's Art Net!

Casting Art to the Net

Hello!

When I was young, words were boring. I would "read" books by studying the illustrations. I continued that practice long after I learned to read written language. I had to grow up a lot before I began to appreciate the art in words. 

Thank you for perusing my website and reading the words. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It began as kind of my own personal version of social media but without much outside interaction beyond praying. I'm an introvert, so this has pretty much remained a public one sided therapeutic self portrait project since Fall 2007. I hope this website helps you as much as it helps me.

A long time ago, my youngest gave me a small blank hard bound book. She asked me to write something about myself for her to have as a keepsake. So I built this website.

Ed's Art Net has changed over the years, especially after I retired at the beginning of 2020. Retiring and the Covid-19 pandemic "sheltering in place" created a lot of "free" time and it was a paradigm shift when I discovered how to create text hyperlinks. The only thing good about the pandemic is that perhaps we appreciate our freedoms a little more.

If you haven't guessed already, my name is Ed... Edward M. Caldwell to be more exact. I live about an hour's motorcycle ride from the Appalachian Mountains in North Georgia USA. This photo of me was taken by Phoebe Chen at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taiwan. I was relaxing from an August 2014 two week business trip at the Taiwan Technical Center. There, I worked with my good friend Rita Huang along with several other designers and managers. The people in Taiwan were great and it was easy to make friends. Rita ❤️ was special and treated me like a daughter! She is around the same age as my oldest.

My last career job was designing internet operating circuit boards along with a distinguished team of engineers, managers and support personnel. Prior to that I was an electronics technician evolving into circuit board design in the defense industry working with missile systems. My first career job was a professional artist. During my younger years I worked many odd jobs beginning at age nine with a newspaper delivery route.

I'm happily married with two beautiful daughters and the cutest, smartest granddaughter and grandson on the planet!
 

My good friend Travis of Echols Financial Services once asked if I thought God's purpose for me was to be a teacher... I loved the question because he knows that I have some strong opinions. But I'm just a husband, father, grandfather and an aspiring old artist. My life, family and friends are a precious gift and so is my art. God has been helping me all of my days. He instructs and inspires anyone who loves and listens.

I’m not a natural born writer. I struggle with spelling and grammar. Writing has been something my tell tale heart taught me. When I think of writers, for example, I think of Sean Dietrich. Sean is a wonderful and productive writer... writing something about good every day in his Blog.

And I'm not a prolific stereotypical artist. Stereotypes follow expected behavioral paths. When I think of prolific artist stereotypes, I think of Salvador Dali, beautifully talented and just a wee bit wacky doodle. 

 

When I was a kid, I started out with my own wacky doodle aspirations to become a mentally healthy family man, jet fighter pilot, astronaut and forest ranger. But not necessarily consistently in that order. At puberty my goal became rock’n roll star and motorcycle maniac. More wacky doodleness! (It’s important to note that I didn't die on my motorcycle. And that my rock’n roll band only lasted about three months. We actually got paid to play once.)


I decided that I needed a career earning more money so I targeted professional artist. When I found out that artists don’t necessarily earn a steady or significant income. I pursued electronics.

 

Well, I succeeded in becoming a family man and electronics has provided an adequate income for us. And now that I’m retired, I’m rekindling my youthful motorcycle, art and music dreams, but with a bit more patience.

“Time Equals Flavor”

 

… is a quote from one of my favorite writers, Sean Dietrich, "Sean of the South". His wife was explaining to him why cooking homemade chicken soup takes a long time.

 

Many things in life require time to achieve and patience to realize. Dreams are no exception.

My wife introduced me to Sean of the South's popular writings. His books and blog stories are about extraordinary people. People that most of us would stop at a polite greeting. Sean goes further.
 

I love his works, they are inspiring and humbling. He writes with a colorful southern wit that is both entertaining and enlightening. His daily Blog goes down well with my morning mug of joe. His writing helps align my disordered brain for a healthy kickstart to my day!

 

There are a lot of extraordinary people out there and Sean Dietrich is one of them.

"I don't think anyone needs a reason to be nice." 
Sean of the South

Keep Moving Forward

October 24, 2021 - I was introduced to Pop Tarts at age 13 and now I'm fast approaching 70. My current early morning ritual before I eat a good breakfast consists of a single unfrosted tart along with a stout mug of black coffee.

I negotiate this mass production pastry with my wife because she’s always trying to get me to quit the sugary treat. But I just cry a little and remind her that I prefer the unfrosted version (as if that should help). It’s like when I bought my first Indian a few years ago. I whined and cried (pestered is more accurate) for almost six months before she finally said, “I guess you’re not going to give up”… That was all it took. I made a beeline for the nearest Indian motorcycle dealer. 

I’m not saying that Susan is an enabler. She’s a loving spouse that has to deal with a nine-year-old bipolar wacky doodle husband. She generously credits me with being "ten years old" and does her best with what she has to work with. I’m very blessed to have her as my wife and best earthbound friend!

Besides motorcycles and pop tarts, I also love my Ed’s Art Net website. Web building, unlike some art projects, lends itself to change and correcting. But I was spending way too many post pop tart hours reviewing and editing. So I’ve been proving lately that I can function without constantly tweaking my “high tech” hobby.

 
I have come to realize there’s actually “other” things that I can do to fill my post pop tart day. For example, I recently finished cleaning out several decades worth of neglected files. I made quite a large pile of shredded paper and enjoyed finding some forgotten memories including my ancient application for employment at Disney. I remember that they liked my illustrations but rejected me as an employee because of my background. At the time, I was a high school dropout so I expect they had many more better qualified candidates to choose from.
 
I didn’t get a job at Disney but I've had plenty of other second chances in life so maybe I can do less obsessing over my website as I keep moving forward

June 3, 2022 - Recently, Susan and I started this detox diet that prohibits pop tarts and various other toxic chemicals that I love and enjoy. It was my daughter’s idea… she wants us to live longer. Kinda seems counterproductive to me. But after week one of three, I must admit that I do feel better.

Susan

December 28, 2021 - Well, I’m in trouble... AGAIN! 

You know how people generally say cute things like “trouble is my middle name”… well “trouble” is my first and last name… my middle name is “always”.

I was good for a while. Spending time constructively, doing things like cleaning out decades of neglect from my file cabinet. But gradually I have fallen back into obsessively working on this website. Seems I can’t help myself. I am driven and I derive a lot of pleasure from Ed’s Art Net. But my wife and nurse, who by the way are taking good care of me, think that I'm spending too much time editing and tweaking, as I said, AGAIN! I've had issues with that in the past and we don't want them repeated.

In my defense, I'm an artist. And I love my work. Ed’s Art Net is a fun and challenging ART project. I enjoy browsing through it taking note where I typed wrong or where my grammatical skill lacks clarity and fixing it. It’s also fun to look at until I find my mistakes. But I mostly enjoy reading my writing, especially after EDiting a few dozen times. I envy those natural born writers that seem to crank out great works time after time like making popcorn. I’m not a natural born writer but I do have things on my mind that I want to share. My thoughts don't necessarily flow freely and in proper order so editing is necessary. Most all of what you read here has been scrubbed numerous times. 

 

A lot of what I share is inspiration from my spiritual life and some of what I share is from my aspiration to be funny and entertaining. A good bit of what I share comes from my bipolar illness. And a portion is simply my art... mostly my youthful art… where angels were, very intently, helping me survive. I still get lots of help, but I'm more acutely aware of it these days.

Anyway, back to being in trouble… I'm on voluntary restriction. I'm supposed to limit my Ed's Art Net activities to four hours a day.
 

It's only because my Susans love me. Yes there are two. And they are both natural born care givers... wife Susan and nurse Susan. And of course, I love them both.


I’ve witnessed my wife, Susan, help heal things… like birds and cats which will eat a bird given the chance, squirrels and dogs which will eat a squirrel, ducks and turtles which eat young ducks. She does her best to help about anything breathing. But we draw the line at mosquitoes! She's also our family caretaker. Our grown up daughters still call her first whenever they have any health crisis.

 

My other Susan is a registered nurse. She has been successfully supervising me for quite a long time. Nurse Susan helps keep me on course without fencing me in. I wear a chemical straight jacket and she helps adjust the tension on the straps whenever they get too tight or too loose. I look forward to my visits with her. She actually understands my disordered brain.


Both my Susans see me as a health crisis project. I expect that’s because I do a lot of sitting and have bipolar disorder. Seems most of the things that I do involve sitting. About the only thing I do that doesn’t involve sitting is walking. But the ratio of sitting and walking tends to tip heavily on the sitting side. Both Susans want me to live long and be mentally and physically healthy so they work towards that end. Both are very good at their work.

 

It takes a strong person to deal with mental illness. I hope you are lucky enough to have a Susan in your life. I’m blessed with two!

Offspring

Summer 2016 - Kids with kids

Above is my beautiful favorite youngest daughter Kate ❤️ on the left and my beautiful favorite oldest daughter Ash ❤️ on the right. Their beautiful mom ❤️ deserves most of the credit for growing these two. I deserve a little. They both make us very proud!

Christmas 2021 - Grand Kids (little heart melters ❤️)

Peyt

January 26, 2022 - Peyton is my feline companion. God sent him to me via my youngest. God does things like that. He knows what’s best… like that 50’s TV sitcom about a really smart father, except way more smarter… “Father Way Knows Best!!!

Peyton had a rough start. Chased by dogs near the expressway at a few months old and later abused to the point of a broken jaw and shoulder. Peyt did not have an ideal introduction into life.

Along comes my daughter. She takes him in and pays an enormous vet bill to repair his shoulder. They had to add a pin to put his bones back together. He still has the pin, crooked leg and a crooked bite. His leg and jaw healed just a bit off kilter.
 
I fell in love with Peyt right off the bat. He's my animal kindred spirit. God knows what He's doing! I thank God for Peyton. He accepts me same as I accept him.
Peyt is all cat but he follows me around like a puppy. Mischievous? Boy is he ever! He likes to get his paws into everything! He so reminds me of me! I think God gave me Peyton to show me what I'm like as a cat!
 
No one likes bad news. Peyton was diagnosed with lymphoma on January 12. He had been showing signs that something was wrong. After 13 years, I’m going to miss him terribly. Terribly to the point that my nurse and family are worried about my health. I told them that they worry too much. But as with any close loved one, when Peyt dies, part of me is going to die too.

Peyt has a very beautiful and strong spirit. I’ve always admired his fighting spirit. Like when he got snake bit. We think it was a copperhead because we’ve killed a few in our yard over the years. Peyton was strong at only a few years old but he wasn’t feeling too well after tangling with a poisonous snake. So we rushed him to the emergency vet clinic where they treated him as best they could. The doctor said his chances would improve with a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. The nearest one for pets was in Chattanooga, Tennessee two hours away. Long story short, that oxygen chamber might have been the thing that saved his life. 
Peyton’s always been a biter. I suppose he learned that as a kitten. I have received numerous bites because that’s how he learned early on to communicate.
 
Over the years Peyt has backed off the fierce biting a bit. His bites are more of the 'I love you but I’m still the boss' kind of bite now.

Love is conditional for a lot of people.
 
One of my friends recently told me that they didn’t understand how people could get so attached to animals.
 
I don’t understand how they can’t. 
 
March 19, 2022 - I buried Peyt today.
 
I miss my buddy terribly. It was difficult to watch him succumb to the cancer. The disease slowly drained his strength in spite of Susan's galant animal nursing efforts. I was helpless except to be his buddy and companion.
 
I worried over Peyton like a dad worries over his son. I never took Peyt for granted but God took him from me anyway.
 
I know God knows best. That keeps me moving forward.

And I have the best family on the planet.
 
Peyt is still with me in my mind and spirit. I'm grateful for the time we had.

i miss you Peyt

a spirit true

though i have your spirit

what i miss iyou

 

i buried part of me

that's what buddies do

because forever i will be

your companion too

It’s Okay to Cry
 

April 8, 2022 - If you've ever lost a loved one, and I know many of you have, they leave a vast hole in your heart. You just want to lay down with them. Your world stops and you cry. You may busy yourself with the mundane but your heart aches with every reminding thought. And you know that ache is never going to go away. Grief can last a lifetime. Of course you realize that time will make that vast hole a little smaller, but as long as you're alive you know the ache will remain. You'd give anything to have them back. And you look forward to the promise of Heaven where you can once again be companions.

Clear Air Turbulence

God works at His work and we sleep through it.

My favorite oldest daughter ❤️ took this bygone picture of me with another family member. I'm the one with both eyes closed. Jake was always the mild-mannered ham! I must have been practicing for retirement.

Bipolar Awareness

I battle with demons. I fight bipolar disorder and I'm winning. Thanks to perseverance and the love I receive from God, family and friends... like my supervising nurse who shares my wife's name.

 

Bipolar disorder is the modern day name for what was professionally referred to as manic-depressive disorder until 1980. Great strides occurred towards the end of the twentieth century in the successful treatment of this condition. New drugs became available that proved to help control the emotional extremes over time.

Bipolar disorder symptoms are not always readily apparent to people that surround someone with the illness. And unfortunately, not every person with bipolar responds well even to the modern medications that science has provided. Treatment is trial and error and depends a great deal on the bipolar individual to communicate honestly with their doctor to set a proper dosage of proper medication. Even then, there is no guarantee that the medications will work over a lifetime. Adjustments may be needed from time to time to keep emotions in check. Fortunately, there are now several options for doctors and patients to pursue. It is possible to lead a successful life with this condition.

My purpose in writing about my bipolar condition is to help enlighten those that know me by sharing a little of my experience. Also I want to help inspire anyone with bipolar realize that it's possible to manage a relatively normal existence without being controlled by the extreme polarizing effects.

During a manic or depressive episode, lines blur between what's real and unreal. Reality looses grip and delirium sets in. If you're lucky, the delirium is not severe enough to kill, only maim. If that's all that happens, then you might be able to write about it and possibly help someone else recognize the symptoms.

 

Diligently taking proper medication and a cautious lifestyle are the two main ingredients for success. Working with a doctor and their support group along with activities that do not represent episode “triggers” is fundamental.

 

It is important to learn from experience how to recognize the mood triggers and avoid them where possible. There are some good books that help too, such as Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder by Julie A. Fast and Dr. John Preston. If you know someone that is bipolar, I recommend giving the book a read. It's designed to help family and friends also.

Manic Depression (Self Portrait)

what actor knows

what the actor shows
well-being... (torment)
(anguish)... contentment
melting as it grows
from stealth to prose
disclose not sanity's gage
yet revealed on earth's lighted stage

1978 - Pen and Ink on paper 

 

I was not aware and had not been diagnosed with manic-depressive disorder when I created this drawing but I did know that there was something wrong with me. This drawing was inspired by the emotional extremes I had been experiencing for a long time.
 

Fortunately I had learned over my years how to hide my emotional state enough to function successfully around others. I managed as long as the "triggers" weren't too great. I was hospitalized around 1977 after a mental breakdown but was not properly diagnosed... at the time the doctor believed I had taken LSD which was not true... all I knew was that I was not in full control of my brain. It wasn't until 2003 after another mental breakdown that I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder.

 
After my 2003 breakdown the doctors tried different medications at first but we finally settled on carbamazepine and risperidone for the mania and ultimately fluoxetine for the depression.
 
Early on in my treatment after a few years of feeling mentally stronger I got the idea that I no longer needed to take the medications. So with the doctor's help my nurse and I began to reduce the dosages. I didn't make it to completely eliminating the medications before I had a manic episode.
 
I'm grateful to my doctor and especially my nurse for that lesson as I am now diligent about taking my meds. I expect I will be taking medications for the rest of my life.
 
I'm fortunate that science was able to develop successful treatments for this complex illness. I believe my father may have been bipolar but since his episodic symptoms were of a violent nature I don't feel that the doctors at the VA hospital understood this. I remember my mother saying something about "rage treatments". I don't know what all they used to treat him but I do know from my mother that they used shock therapy to calm him. He never got better for any long period of time while I was growing up so I suspect that they did not know how to properly treat him.
 
My father's sister was somewhat promiscuous and attempted suicide more than once. My five years older than me half brother died of suicide at age twenty one. They both may have had manic-depressive (bypolar) disorder but I don't know if they were ever diagnosed and treated for it. 

The lower left end of the image (an upside down caricature of a human head) represents downward depressed thinking. The upper right end of the image (an upside up caricature of a fire breathing dragon) represents the high energetic insanity of what I eventually came to know as manic thinking. The tiny dragons inside each polarized head represent the suicidal thoughts that can accompany the two extremes. 

Bipolar Mania

i moved the wind from nowhere to nowhere
cradled among heaven's bright and beautiful
unbound in uncharted abode

Sometimes manic thinking can be quite vivid, even extremely pleasant, making perfect sense to the individual but not usually to other people. Delusions of grandeur are common in the manic state.

 

thoughts of glory
thoughts with story 
oh wonderful feeling
mind is reeling
with prescription pleasure
without medicinal measure  

 

Sometimes manic thinking becomes distant. Racing thoughts can seem to have a life of their own... at its worse, it feels like someone else is controlling the brain. This can be very painful mentally as well as physically, kind of like sitting in the pilot’s seat of a jet aircraft and trying to control it with an array of external overriding remote controlling operators fighting over what direction and how fast the plane will go and each operator has a different flight plan. This extremely unpleasant condition can be horrifying and bewildering at the same time. It's like watching a suspenseful horror movie that doesn't make sense or provide a break in the tension.
 

Suicidal thoughts are also possible during the manic phase. Racing thoughts can lead to a feeling of hopelessness... a feeling of drowning in thought discontinuity... drowning in the sense of being aware of the lack of thought control.

 

thoughts fly by
no blinking eye 
the soul sees
the mind leave
is this madness
where is adeptness
drowning yet alive 
as soul cries

Manic behavior is unpredictable. Creativity can be extremely enhanced or thoughts can be wildly out of control. Achieving a safe mental balance with lifestyle and proper medication is always the primary goal.

Bipolar Depression

i lost the wind from nowhere to nowhere 

ordered midst the dark and distant
bound firm in toxic anguish

Depression will kill you. I see depression as an evil wandering black hole seeking to devour life. It uses all sorts of tactics like reminding you in elaborate detail… over and over… any and all mistakes you’ve made in your lifetime. It also likes to tenderize you with thoughts of unworthiness, making you believe that you do not deserve to live.
 

Another heart wrenching tactic is to take the joy out of the things that you love to do making you further feel inadequate unable to create and socialize.

 

The most heinous of all is the life threatening suicidal thoughts that can occur. Life can seem too much to bear and at its worst, death appears to be relief. At extreme states, medical support and guidance from outside is usually needed.

 

I have dealt with the evil of depression on and off over most of my life. I have used alcohol to self medicate but that creates another set of problems. I take my prescribed medication for bipolar, try to get good sleep and constantly work at controlling my thoughts. I know the black hole is starting to move closer when I begin to reflect on my history of mistakes.

 

To combat, I tell my brain to think of something good that I did to change focus. It’s an ongoing mental battle that must be fought because the black hole wants to consume me.

 

Writing this is an example of fighting the fight. It helps to focus on what I have learned in my experience. I remind myself that my suicide would deeply hurt my family and friends. It's also important to remember that depression DOES NOT LAST FOREVER and will subside in time. I pray and repeat those two thoughts many times until I’m feeling better.

 

Exercise and healthy eating habits including vitamins helps too. Things I do play a big part in helping my cause.

 

I usually just tell my wife that I don’t feel good. I explain that it’s like having a virus in my brain. I let her know that thankfully my medication helps so it isn’t as bad as it could be.

 

Bipolar depression stems from malfunctioning brain chemistry so there isn’t necessarily an outside stimulus or tangible reason for it. However, there are certain triggers that help feed depressed thinking. I have lots of good reasons to be a happy person but sometimes I'm fighting a battle.


darkness creeps

the soul creaks
writhing wormy things bask in the dim 
i shudder, i sicken, i'm sightless
when will this end... 
this eclipse amid the day
stealthy demons lurking in the shadow...
laughing insanely in its playground 
more than a thorn in the side...
a black hole slowly devouring being
i linger coveting death...
but take heart... have patience!
relief has always been time away
hold on to the rim
you know darkness seeps... 
only 'til light casts it back to the deep...
until darkness comes again

 

Dealing with depression is a battle of the bad thoughts with good thoughts AND deeds. Depression is a stubborn greedy evil black hole.
 

PLEASE ask for help from outside when you first sense your depression is heading out of control. It is very important that seeking help from outside be part of your battle strategy when the black hole gets too near.

Bipolar Stable

i ride the wind from nowhere to somewhere 

residing in God sheltered creation 

reflecting science in earthly appreciation 

Taking Charge

 

Currently, there's not a cure for bipolar disorder. But thankfully, science has developed several drugs that can help the brain operate without the extreme manic and depressed conditions.
 

Having a caring and stable home life is a great benefit. Managing bipolar is difficult at times but it is more so without people around you that want to help. I'm blessed with a wonderful caring family. Not everyone with bipolar disorder is as fortunate.

Functionally Dysfunctional 
 
When you’re bipolar, you can become depressed for no apparent reason.
 
You could also be happy-go-lucky one minute and ready to end it all the next. Which is called “rapid cycling”.
 
Or you could be manic. Literally deliriously overjoyed with yourself one minute and completely out of touch with sanity the next.
 

Over time, you learn to take your meds and through experience, learn how best to deal with the ongoing symptoms. Kinda like learning how to function without eyes, ears or limbs. I think some of the strongest people on the planet are those missing a critical physical component. Legs and arms for example, don’t grow back so you're left with no positive choice but to adapt.

Dark Side

As a child I feared my father. At times, I feared for my life. My father was not a stable man and would periodically explode into fits of rage. As a kid, I had no idea how to deal with the violence other than cowering in fear, sometimes hiding in my closet.

 
My mother did the best she could. Her, my siblings and I were all adversely affected by my father’s insanity. My mom would always call one of my dad’s brothers to come wrestle him to the VA hospital where he underwent restraint and shock therapy. I never knew what else they used to treat him with beyond that. He would come home after a week or so in a lethargic state. Then repeat the pattern at some point.
 
As an adult, I realize that he had an illness and his behavior was driven by that illness. And the doctors at the VA hospital didn’t know exactly how to help him. My mom, siblings and I all had issues stemming from the stress. I mainly wanted to leave and worked towards that end. I felt that our family was toxic from the stress and we all desperately needed to separate to find relief from the toxicity.
 
I battled thoughts of suicide. My parents divorced. My older brother ended his own life. And a short time later, at age 17, I struck out on my own rejecting my childhood family.
 
My mom’s sister once told me that I had to become the man of the house. I think I was 9 at the time. I was sitting in the back seat of my mother’s car and my mom was desperately seeking a place for us to spend the night away from her husband’s rage. My mom’s sister turned her away and I ultimately rejected my aunt’s advice.
Light
 
My childhood wasn't filled with darkness. There was just enough darkness to help me appreciate life's light. I have good memories of my family too. My dad could draw a great Popeye and could build just about anything. One of his many jobs was an assembly worker at Lockheed riveting wings on the C-130 Hercules.
 
I love people, but it's always been difficult to completely trust others. Only God, my family and His kingdom has my undying trust. I don't even completely trust myself. I keep a watchful eye on my own behavior and work toward it being of the proper kind. I know right from wrong and I'm not blind to God's guiding light.
 
I adopted my first wife's parents and they adopted me. They were a good and healthy example for me to follow and wonderful grandparents for Susan and my daughters.
 
I don't expect to ever lose sight of the darkside during this life, but I also don't expect to ever lose sight of the Light and hope that life teaches.

A lifetime is nothing compared to an eternity. 

Suicide

 

I'm not suicidal as I write this. I'm reflective. I’ve had plenty of thoughts about suicide, but when it gets right down to it I chicken out. I go on. I reckon that I would rather deal with wanting to die than actually die. My own mental illness is simply not severe enough to end my life.

Suicide is the mental equivalent of a terminal physical disease. It’s not a willful act to “commit” suicide. “Commit suicide” is a misnomer because it indicates that the victim was in control. The victim is not in control. The illness is in control. Suicide is the triumph of a disease just like a death from cancer. Only suicide is invisible making it impossible to physically diagnose and track.

Victims include all the people surrounding someone who has a suicidal disease. The survivors "guilt" believes that they could have done something to prevent it or even that they contributed in some way. But suicide is the internalized victory of a deadly illness, not the result of some external comment or action.

 

The suicide victim is overwhelmed with terrible and excruciating mental pain with no other apparent means of relief. Suicide is not a rational act.

 

The other victim, the loved one, falls prey to their own mental illness in a state of depression and anxiety. This depression can last off and on for a lifetime because the grieving victim is left empty handed and frustrated. It’s okay to cry. In fact, crying is emotional release and necessary for the survivor's well-being.

Probably the best medicine for suicide is talking. The suicide victim’s loved ones need help. Of course the suicide victim needed help but mental illness at its worse cannot be easily denied. Neither can cancer. Talking is therapy. There’s comfort in sharing with others even if they just listen. Suicide is not easy to talk about because it’s so difficult to personally deal with. Losing a loved one to suicide is devastating.

Mental Health

The folks at LifeStance Health provide excellent care designed for my specific needs. I'm especially grateful to my supervising nurse for her care, knowledge and understanding.

Bipolar Phases... the ever changing wind/mind

Mania
i moved the wind from nowhere to nowhere
cradled among heaven's bright and beautiful
unbound in uncharted abode

Depression
i lost the wind from nowhere to nowhere

ordered midst the dark and distant

bound firm in toxic anguish

Stable
i ride the wind from nowhere to somewhere 

residing in God sheltered creation 

reflecting science in earthly appreciation 

Social stigma

In my layman's opinion, mental illness is a physical brain disorder and should not be completely separated from physical illnesses. A disordered brain will have some sort of physical failure. Either or both physically witnessed trauma and natural (inherited) chemical dysfunction. 

Society takes a barbaric role when it comes to dealing with mental illness. Typically hiding the mentally ill behind a social curtain further separating the mentally disordered from the social world. In reaction, the mentally ill commonly separate themselves from society due to a lack of coping skills.

 

Just like with certain inherent physical conditions, there are mental illness conditions which are, or can become, acceptably manageable. People with mental problems can still function successfully in the marketplace and society. Sometimes even without the aid of medication and behavioral specialists. 

But if we hide problems they don't get fixed... they fester. Putting an isolating curtain in front of the mentally ill can be detrimental to everyone's health.
 

The primary drawback from our socially hiding mental illness is that people can knowingly be mentality ill but fail to seek help because of the social stigma.

 

There's also the fear of losing a career. A person who is outstanding and dependable in their job performance can suddenly become a liability if a mental disorder is revealed.

 

There's also the mentally ill that don't know they are sick. I believe that if society accepted mental illness like it does for example, diabetes and high blood pressure, then people would eventually become more aware of their symptoms.

Social curtains

The most destructive effect of society's hiding of mental disorders is suicide. Since the mentally disturbed are basically socially rejected, hope for help is diminished.

 

Typically if we discover that someone is mentally ill, we assume they're incapable of normal behavior. While that may be true for some, it's not true for all. You might be surprised to learn that your workmate or good friend has a mental disorder that they've been hiding for a long time. 
 

The primary benefit from socially accepting mental illness as a treatable condition is that the mentally ill can gain open and healing support from everyone. 

I spent most of my life hiding my mental illness. For about half my life I wasn't diagnosed but knew that something was wrong with me. I learned early on and first hand how important it is to socially hide mental illness.
 

Now that I'm old I don't feel the need to hide, except that in revealing my bipolar condition, others tend to be either empathetic or else wary and uncomfortable. Mental illness unfortunately is unacceptable to mainstream society.

 

But exposing problems leads to solutions. And solutions lead to improvement. 
 

Sometimes all a person needs is to be accepted.
 

Be aware and show you care!

Mental Floss

Some coping aides that help me with mental maintenance...

God therapy... Bipolar weather?

Writing therapy... Writing is something your heart teaches you. ~ Art is a celebration of God's gifts. ~ Art is built-in to life. Life is a gift from God! ~ Artists finish their work. An audience completes it!

Spiritual therapy... Scene from Pisgah Inn, Blue Ridge Parkway. God's bridge between darkness and light painted with morning color... His Art is infinitely the most inspirational!

Family therapy... My favorite youngest daughter ❤️ took this photo of our home! That's my favorite oldest daughter ❤️ at the front door! Home is where the mind can rest and the spirit can soar!

Love therapy... My wife is mostly responsible for our beautiful yard and lovely home! ❤️ She picked out this house and planted all the "Mom's Gardens".

Craft therapy... Playhouse I built for my daughters in Spring 1991 matching the basic style of our home. It sports a Dutch door with a heart shaped peep window. Inside I incorporated a fold away table using my early years drawing board.

Porch therapy...This is a Fall season photo... one of my favorite times to enjoy our front porch!

Wind therapy... Courtesy of a beautiful spirit machine like Yona!

Let Go therapy... This LEGO dragon specializes in the eradication of a stressful day!

Art therapy... Not suitable for sensitive young viewers, this 1971 drawing is a representation of my rebellious youth.

Music therapy... is sound logic.

Cloud therapy... This God's Art picture is from one of the Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks. I was riding alone on my motorcycle and God grabbed my attention out of the corner of my eye with this lone Little Cloud that reminds me of "Yona". I felt Great Love as I always do when I'm feeling exceptionally grateful. God loves us and is always letting us know! see 1 John 4:16

Self therapy... I'm a work in progress!

You!

January 2, 2022 - I've thought about you a lot lately as my Ed's Art Net visiting audience. Are you actually perusing this website or are you just quickly browsing by?

 

I haven't advertised much so based on the number of visitors, your presence here is likely due to folks sharing the link.
 

I haven’t received much feedback. In fact, very little. So I try to imagine what would help you the most by providing some examples of what helps me the most.
 

It's more likely that you don’t need my help. Maybe you simply enjoy my art and agree with my comments and observations. That’s what I like to think anyway.
 

None of us are perfect, and it's a wee bit delusional, but I also like to think that evil people peruse Ed’s Art Net/Writings and become repentant, realizing there’s a better way!

Maybe YOU battle for sanity like I do. Perhaps you're dealing with something worse. I built this website for me, my family AND you. I built this website with God's help for YOU to complete.

Artists finish their work ~ An audience completes it

God has been helping me all of my life. I believe many or maybe ALL of YOU have pain and need help too. I know that God helps us, even when we don’t ask. But we won’t recognize that unless we reach out for Him.

Life's wounds can run deep. Bad decisions can torment. There's no shame in seeking help. In fact, the opposite is true. Not seeking help when you need it is detrimental to yourself and others around you. Don't let pride be your downfall. Heaven waits for the humble. Seeking help for yourself is just as important as helping others.

Some things bear repeating. God loves you and is way smarter than you! 

I'm an artist... not a teacher, preacher, nurse or doctor, but I hope that something you saw, read or felt from this website and its links, helps you in some good way.

 

Thank YOU again for visiting here and for sharing Ed's Art Net with others!

Contact Me!

June 24, 2022 - I need you. I need to know that I am helping you here with my art, writing and eventually/hopefully, my music, if I ever get it off the ground again.

 
Recently I received a very encouraging and uplifting email from a sweet lady who liked my website/blog. Her letter helped me feel good about what I’ve been doing with this fun and challenging art project. Which is to try and help others feel good. For years I had no idea if that was true because the only indications that I received was from those close to me and my own thoughts. I have a visitor counter running but I’m not sure if I can trust it.
 
The beautiful nice lady that wrote me changed my thinking. Now I know that someone outside my family and friends likes my website. I kinda like knowing that! I would love to hear from you too, but to be honest, I would rather not if you hate what I‘ve published. I’ve had my fill of hate. I would love it if you want to help me with my mistakes or want me to know that Ed’s Art Net helped you in some way. But if you're in the habit of spreading hate, then I prefer that you change before emailing me. If you can hate, you can love. You just have to switch gears. We each individually control how we roll.
 
A link to my email is embedded in my porch image below if you would like to contact me. I'm not fragile. I just don't have time for hate.

Touch or click the image to join me on my virtual porch via Email. Black coffee is my favorite drink! What's yours?

Ed (Bear)

Casting Art to the Net

I love bears. I respect them and admire their keen ability to sleep. By and large, they are powerful and gentle creatures. Their demeanor is usually quiet, steadfast and to the point. As with most wild animals, they typically mind their own business and try to keep away from humans. Which makes them smarter than dogs and cats. But if they lose their fear of humans because of readily available food, they most often end up being euthanized. So please don't feed the bears!

Credits:

Most of all, thanks to God who deserves ALL the credit!
 

Thanks to my family for the help with spelling and grammar. But mostly for being family!

 

Thanks to everyone for the life lessons, love and patient understanding!

The truest True lives inside each one of us!

Glory belongs to God!

Kate's Korner

Springing from my offspring 

Writing is something your heart teaches you

~proud papa bear

Ripple Effects

by Kate Caldwell

I have always struggled with having just one favorite of anything. Favorite book? Too many to choose only one title as my most favorite.  Favorite movie? Forget it! Even to this day I have favorite colors…not just one. Food? It’s the same. Well, except for maybe donuts - the homemade small shop kind like you can find on St. George Island, FL…but let’s just call those one of my favorite treats!

 

Sometimes, when I really think about a book or movie that’s had an impact on me, I always return to It’s a Wonderful Life.  It’s profound to think about how our actions can have ripple effects into our world and the people in it.

 

I’ve told my dad how I’m glad he fought the battles he has and kept pushing through. I wouldn’t be here if his life had taken a different direction. And I’m so proud of how he broke the cycle of addiction and trauma from his childhood to create his own life…his own journey… his own story.

 

As a child, I don’t recall wanting for anything of significance. I’m sure my parents have stories of me throwing a tantrum or fit for some toy or meaningless material something at some point- but when I think back on my childhood- I only have fond memories of playing in the creek with my sister, us building forts in the backyard, and having plenty of toys, board games, Nintendo games, and books…Not to mention the multiple sports we both played!  I can hear Mom yelling down to us at the creek “Dinner is ready!” I can see Dad arriving home from working and me running to him and then he would scoop me up in his arms and give me a big hug. I can see my sister and I walking across the street to my aunt’s house for lunch or dinner or movies and running around her back yard…so many wonderful childhood memories.

 

I wish I could take away the pain and hardships he has suffered from… as we all wish we could when we have family or friends who have been hurt or are still hurting.  But I’m so proud, as an adult now looking back at my life, that he has been able to persevere through so many obstacles and make a life that has had a ripple effect on me and my family. 

 

I think, perhaps, part of my “keep going when the going gets tough” mindset, I owe to him.

 

Thank you, Dad, for allowing me to share in this sacred space that I know you hold dear in your heart. Your ripples are still ever-reaching.

 

XO,

 

-Kate (Your favorite youngest daughter)

 

Ripples

 

Starting near but reaching far,

Sometimes the end unknown…

 

Yet the ripples travel on,

Reaching worlds unshown...

 

Their travel can be far and wide,

Touching depths along…

 

That merely started as a drop,

From the shore alone.

Thank you!

Dear Katie,

 

I sometimes wonder how I was able to inherit such a wonderful family. 

 
Without going into detail... except for my ten years younger sister Laura... my parents, siblings and I were mostly sick and broken. 
 
Dysfunctional is the simplest way to describe us. 
 
You mentioned in your Ripple Effects piece that you wished that you could take away my pain and hardships. Thank you! We all want to do that for our loved ones. It’s part of loving someone else. 
 
You are precious to me and I wish I could help you more with your pains and hardships. Everyone has some negativity to deal with. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
 
I’m way past the pain of my childhood. I past it when I inherited you and the rest of the family that I have now.
 
Love always,
Dad

Endorsement:

I highly recommend my youngest for her professional health and wellness talents in helping others convalesce!

Visit Katie's Website for more information about how she can help you with wellness healing!

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