All the King’s Horses
Part of The Art of Enough art and podcast series
When I was five years old, my father had a series of bipolar episodes that threw our idyllic suburban home into chaos. Seeking to cope with the upheaval, my five-year-old self created a story. The story went like this: if I could just be something different, something better, I could change all that had happened to my father and prevent bad things from happening again. Of course, no matter what I did, it was never enough. It was never enough then, and it was never enough for a lifetime. I spent my life constantly looking to do more, to be more. At times It was rewarding and exhilarating but it was also exhausting and anxiety provoking.
Researching Enough led me to psychologists, neuroscientists, Buddhist meditators, and voice, performance and life coaches. These explorations led me to the understanding that my “father story” was just one of several stories that was driving my obsession to be more. It was part of a complex, messy, entangled, self-perpetuating psychological and emotional knot of stories and associations from childhood. Untangling the knot would not be easy, nor immediate.
The Art of Enough is a step towards understanding the knot, one strand at time. It sheds light on the controlling stories of my childhood, unties them from events and experiences to which they sometimes have become inappropriately attached and lessens their power by creating new empowering narratives or in some cases reduces them to little or no narrative at all.
Note: The Art of Enough is accompanied by a 5-part podcast series that details the creative and psychological process I explored during this 2 year project. The podcasts feature interviews with: playwright, author and meditator Jean-Claude Van Itallie, psychologist and author Dr. John Arden, voice coach Jean McClelland and therapist and educator Bob Szita. The podcasts and the art series catalog can be found on this page.