13 THINGS I LEARNED IN HERMITAGE

 
Hermitage is certainly a dark place. But there is also some light. Not much, but there still is. Here is what I learned about isolation throughout my ongoing hermitage:
 
 
1. It feels strange to not start the day checking out missed calls or messages. But eventually I got used to it.
 

2. It feels even stranger to no longer be connected to those people who have been a part of my everyday life for years now.
 

3. I do not know if my friends will still want to see me after my hermitage. I have ignored them completely for two months now – I have no idea how they reacted to this. Still, I will accept their choices, whatever those will be.
 

4. Solitude, and hermitage, are difficult to pull off without risking one’s mental health. I try, and I think I will succeed, because I have huge control over my mind.
 

5. It is easy to forget about isolation when I work, but much harder to forget when I rest.
 

6. Keeping my mind active – education is essential, so, during my hermitage, I have committed myself to studying art and music.
 

7. I appreciate little treats, a cake, a glass of wine, a delicious salad, much more than before. On the same note I learned how to bake muffins and how to make homemade chocolate, and homemade chocolates with filling, too.
 

8. Distancing myself from everyone is not easy, and controlling my mind so that I do not think too much about the regular life I had before this global crisis is even more difficult, but I still persist.
 

9. I learned to be grateful for all the little things. I write these down every day.
 

10. I am noticing more and more the power of something as simple as a haircut. If I look different, I can become a different person altogether. One of my flaws, which was quite debilitating, was anxiety. I had panic attacks almost every day. Now they are gone completely, once my hair was gone, my anxiety was gone too.
 

11. I am more connected to nature. I try to find beauty. In a world that loses its beauty at an alarming rate, nature is a place of contemplation, a retreat.
 

12. I am more curious about things. Again, knowledge is my companion during these dark times.
 

13. I am much more connected to my violin, Hermann. As you may have noticed, I am also more open about my process, and I share more about it.

 

 

Yours,
Medicine Madison

 

CONFESSION

 
Two days ago, I did the unimaginable – and I am not proud of myself, but I had no other choice. This is the most difficult decision I have ever taken.
 
Isolation hasn’t been as easy as I would have thought.
 
I have already been a recluse for a long time. Since 2016 I barely left my home – I mostly stayed at home in order to work on my art and practice violin.
 
However – all these past years, people have been visiting me frequently. I have visited them too, on occasion. When I had to, I travelled. Sometimes I went out for concerts, rare nights out, and of course my exhibitions.
 
Yes, I have been isolated, but never as isolated as I am since this global crisis occurred.
 
But six phone calls – to my closest friends, to people with whom I talk almost daily (don’t feel offended if I didn’t call you) – well, these six calls changed how my quarantine (and my life) will look from now on.
 
These phone calls were the most difficult phone calls I have ever experienced in my whole existence.
 
I told my friends that I have decided to enter hermitage during this quarantine. I aim to become as reclusive as possible, antisocial, without any interactions with the outside world.
 
I asked them all not to contact me, because I will be unresponsive to any calls or messages I may receive. In fact, should anyone message me with anything that is not a matter of the utmost urgency, I shall not hesitate to block that person temporarily until I have fulfilled my hermitage – until I am ready to return.
 
I am well aware that this has brought pain to some of the closest people I have ever had in my life. And for that, I apologize – no one is at fault for this, yet the virus has complicated my life so much that I can no longer focus on what matters most to me – my work.
 
However, talking to them while knowing how I will not be able to meet them for months – or even years – until this crisis is over, or meeting them with masks and staying at a huge distance, not being able to enjoy our time, but constantly worrying about contagion, that, I could not accept.
 
Constantly hearing about the outside world – a world I do not have access to – was too much for me. So everything and everyone from the outside world had to disappear from my view. Until the crisis ends, it is best that we walk our separate ways.
 
This crisis has made me bitter. Because of this, I generally am quite easily annoyed with people who do not take the virus seriously. I do not want to argue with my friends because of this virus. It isn’t worth the risk. So I had to take this painful decision instead – it was my only option, so I could maintain my sanity and so I wouldn’t develop a very negative perspective about the entire world.
 
I am an honest person and I do not pick favourites. I could not choose to talk to the very few friends who accept the seriousness of this pandemic, and to stop talking to those who think it is just a flu. So I had to play fair, and stop talking to all of my friends.
 
To everyone who knows me personally, please message me if something important happens – but please, do not message me randomly.
 
I am aware of the fact that some of my friends will not agree with this, and as I have temporarily disappeared from their lives, they, too, may choose to disappear from my life – and they may choose to disappear permanently. I accept this. even though it won’t be easy, but I did this to myself and I will face the consequences.
 
I will be a hermit from now on, until this pandemic ends.
 
I will still use Instagram as usual, but I will very rarely reply to comments – I will only reply to meaningful comments – and I will not respond to most messages (although I will see them), unless it is something concerning my art, the violin, or my career. I may scroll on my feed on occasion, but not as often as until now. As a recluse, I aim to distance myself from the world and cut off all non-essential contact.
 
I am aware that some of you won’t like this. I don’t care. I care about the quality and good taste of those who will join me on this solitary journey.
 
Solitude is a wonderful thing. I am now using solitude in a pretty radical way, for my evolution – for my Spiritual Renaissance, because it can lead to immense spiritual growth. By this, I do not mean anything in connection with religion, merely personal evolution.
 
This is a very difficult choice, but it is what I need right now.
 
Most people find solitude terrifying. I don’t. It makes me more productive and it helps me focus.
 
What I have done is extreme. This is often the case with what I do.
 
What I am, and what I do, is solitary.

 

Yours,
Medicine Madison

 

 

MEDICINE MADISON

 

I never liked my real name. Its sound is completely unlike my personality. I am a musical person, sound matters to me. It’s not a bad name, but it has nothing to do with who I am so I can’t stand it. To everybody, I will be either Kim or Medicine Madison.

 

Kim is a name I use throughout my life in non artistic contexts and with people I know personally. I don’t think my real name has any relevance in terms of describing who I am. It’s just too ordinary for my taste.

 

I will explain here the meaning of my name as an artist.

 

First, I’m going to talk about “Medicine”. I call myself Medicine because I believe artists – not priests – are the doctors of the spirit.

 

I have had numerous issues throughout my life, therefore, I had to go to hospitals many times, and this, too, has certainly contributed to my name. I don’t know how many surgeries I have undergone in my life, however, there were more than 25. Medicine is a part of me, because my life experience has influenced me a lot. Medicine sometimes alters moods, and that’s happening to people while viewing my work.

 

Next, I’m discussing “Madison”. “Madison” had to be my last name, because the first three letters form the word “Mad”.

 

I consider that madness has a special place in my work, and I’m talking about the fact that I would risk a lot for art, especially in my self portraits. While shooting self portraits, I enter some sort of trance – It’s a magical experience, some sort of ritual, in which I unveil, one by one, the infinity of characters that shape my personality. My madness manifests itself through my art alone. I am a very balanced person.

 

There is absolutely no relation between my last name and the common American name. It is written and pronounced the same way, however, its meaning and purpose is completely different. I had to ask many people to stop calling me Madison – Medicine is my first name, and that is how I prefer to be called.

 

As a bonus, my name contains the word cinema: MediCINE MAdison. Indeed, my life is like a movie.

 

And then, there’s the letter M. Some of you may know that sometimes I simply call myself “M“. That’s how I sign my paintings. M is the 13th letter of the alphabet. This name is like a subtle premonition. In 2013, I discovered my purpose as a person and as an artist. But that’s a story for another day.

 

After you live certain experiences, and I’m talking about rough ones, you automatically change your vision about life. And this is what happened to me. Maybe my real name was okay for me when I was in early school, but now it’s completely wrong: it’s simply not my name.

 

Yours,
Medicine Madison

 

 

I SHAVED MY HEAD

 

On the night between the 12th and 13th of April 2020, I shaved my head. I started from the front, because I did not want to risk changing my mind. I never regretted this decision, and I do not miss having hair at all. I can grow it back whenever I want to.

 

 

Yes. This time it ‘s for real – not just a disguise, as some of you may have seen in my self portrait series “Silence”. Perhaps it was that series which made me realize I like how I look without hair. Or perhaps it was another recent series, “The Iron Mask” – the fact that I thought of building upon the mask which only covered the face until it covered the back of my head as well, but still – I was thinking about this for a very long time.

 

So first of all, I know this may be shocking to some of you. I did NOT, under any circumstances, do it for the shock, though I admit that I find reactions (especially shocked ones) highly amusing.

 

I think I’m beautiful no matter how my hair is cut (or shaved in this case). I am psychologically sound, and I had no sudden changes in my life which could have influenced me to take such a radical decision.

 

So, I did it for the following reasons:

 

I really wanted to shave (completely, there is NOTHING left) for a very long time but I didn’t find a good time for it. Those among you who know me well have seen numerous hints of this in my paintings. It would not be the first time when my art has manifested itself in my life.

 

I also did it because I want to experiment with a new area of self portraiture involving my head, with hair, that would have been utterly impossible.

 

I also did it out of curiosity. I am a curious person. Apparently I was really pleasantly surprised by the outcome. I REALLY enjoy it.

 

The experience is interesting because it triggered a psychological change as well. As I knew already, a physical change – especially a radical physical change – can trigger a huge psychological change. I am very grateful for the fact that I shaved my head.

 

Yours,
Medicine Madison

 

 

HELLO

 

I just started this blog. From time to time, I will write here about my life, my art, my philosophy, my opinions, my travel. I hope you will enjoy reading it.
 

During my most recent trip to Italy, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit a new city: Faenza. Faenza is famous for the manufacture of majolica-ware glazed earthenware pottery, known from the name of the town as faience.

 

 

It was a brief visit, I just got to eat a cold tuna and pasta salad at a local restaurant in a delightful piazza.
 
I took a walk through the town. I would have loved to have more time, however, mine was a brief visit, since I had to catch my plane. So I made the most of my time, and took as many photographs as possible. Just like I always do.

 

You can see them here.

 

Yours,
Medicine Madison