Recently, I survived a series of illnesses, the last of which knocked me out for a good week. My body rebelled in weakness as I helplessly watched my home fall apart from the inside out. The worst part of being a grown-up is that when your sick the world doesn’t stop spinning. The kids still needed to make the bus in the morning with lunches in hand, Eddy still needed his ankle surgery(scheduled months before), Halloween couldn’t be postponed, the dog still needed to go outside and certainly the family still needed food and clean clothes. But then the storm passes and the skies clear. When this sort of experience happens I find a renewed perspective or joy in being well and accomplishing the mundane. Sometimes I wonder if sickness is actually a gift, a vehicle for gratitude and hope?
I found that during this rash of illness, I was still compelled to create. The pieces that resulted were fully abstract, but symbolic. It seems some experiences cannot be expressed in words or recognizable images, but are so emotional and cellular that restricting them to some sort of pretty picture is not giving them the freedom to go further. These abstractions are a first for me. The visual images I normally make are usually much more identifiable, but I simply couldn’t do it. I couldn’t trivialize the truly molecular transformation I was undergoing. A risk worth taking.