Wednesday, 27 November 2013


Skirk (that's the Norwegian name), or as we know it better in English as... The Scream - an icon of Modern Art, a Mona Lisa of our time (or so says Arthur Lubow according to Wikipedia).
Might not be to everyone's taste, but I'm a huge fan of Edvard Munch's work. Not a painting - The Scream is actually a composition of four individual paintings, with the proper title 'The Scream of Nature'.
I think of it as an old friend, and it embodies another old friend I encountered again yesterday - anxiety. Being a writer, I tried to put it into words when it struck me. Being a Biologist (or I was for a time having gained a degree in the subject) I tried to analyse it from a biochemical point of view. But being a great artist, Munch does it so much better... a picture tells a thousand words, and The Scream screams of an anxiety attack to me.
I didn't have an attack, but just felt very anxious for many hours. Silly really - all we were doing was taking the cat to the airport to get weighed for his cargo trip on Friday. He was actually very good, didn't make too much of a fuss on his first journey of more than five minutes in the car. But I felt anxious throughout, and it's been a while since I felt like that. Usually my most anxious moments nowadays are when my laptop gets sick, like it did first thing this morning, pop ups appearing everywhere making it impossible to do anything on the internet. But a quick restore sorts that out, so hardly a big deal. Real anxiety is working in the City of London, company directors on your back 24/7 demanding more and more profits, setting unrealistic targets that somehow you manage to meet. It's standing in front of a group of high-flying bankers, trying to convince them to invest in whatever, knowing that if you do it will earn you a fifty grand, and more importantly the respect of your peers. It's travelling on the Northern Line at eight in the morning, crushed by bodies that aren't at all attractive, having spend the previous hour commuting from Brighton. Anxiety - I remember it, and I don't miss it. Although I know it will be back come Friday for the cat's flight to London.
He'll be fine.
It's me who will be anxious until I get him home.
Sounds like a parent who's son has gone to battle... or even just gone to school.


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