In the throws of a migraine episode, I curl myself tight in the dark. Nothing can touch me or the pain is unbearable... it is nearly unbearable to be touched by the air. My mind races, I perform breathing exercises and try to calm my mind, but swirls and flashes of light play on the insides of my eyelids violating the dark canvas... I might be in hell... or maybe an impressionist painting...
In fact many of the great impressionists suffered from migraines. Vincent van Gogh, George Seurat, and Claud Monet being the most notable and awe-worthy. Looks like I finally share something with these great Masters after all... unfortunately it is something I would rather not have in common with them.
i can't help but look back on my time in the Musee d'Orsay this last summer, and look differently at the impressionist movement. The decent into madness that Van Gogh's art showcases now also speaks to me of aura and pain.... Seurat's name has even been used to name certain types of aura and I now see them in his work A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, and finally Monet with his hazy unfocused world... Impressionism used to mean an art movement based on impressions of the scene, and it now means something much more personal to me... it is the unrelenting throb of pressure and the swirls of invisible daggers cutting my eyes out in painted form.
I only get a severe migraines once every few months, but the memories of living with over half of each month in pain always haunt me. Maybe I should start painting as a form of therapy... until then I can admire these amazing works of art in a new way and feel, just a little connected, to the artists' who also battled this devil called migraine.