Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Making Art and Helping Our Aging Parents

I'm not sure exactly how these two topics are going to merge, but I think they might.

 I spent one evening with my paints and canvases all over my kitchen table and counters, exploring myself and my process.  This is not usually a comfortable process as most artists know.  I can say this because I found confirmation that I am not alone in this recently in my local Barnes and Noble searching for inspiration.  I found it in the form of a book entitled "Art & fear - Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking," by David Bayles and Ted Orland.

Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking: Bayles, David and Orland, Ted

It felt like one of those strokes of divine and magical inspiration when it landed in my hands... on the artistic struggle.

I was feeling sad when I left her yesterday.  I felt like she is going down hill.  She was lying on the sofa when we got there.  She has been lying down several times lately when we got there.  I don't think I ever remember seeing her lie down during the day.  I have often been over in the last few months and she would be sitting on the sofa sleeping, but never lying down.  She says she falls asleep every time she sits down.  My son agrees.  She has lost 9 pounds since she got sick. I cried on the way home, and voiced my concerns to my coworkers today, and asked them to pray for her and by the time we spoke around noon (mom and I), she sounded like her old self.  She said she had eaten, and wasn't satisfied and had eaten more.  She slept good all night long and didn't even hear her alarm.  She really sounded wonderful.  So, I guess maybe she'll be okay, for a while longer.  Although she'll probably have some bad days before she's really "back."  And, yes, I know she won't ever really be "back." 

I'm really going to have a bad time with this.  We have had some terrible times, but we've also had some good ones.  She is very important to me, probably too much so, I know.  She's going to leave a big hole in my life.  She has helped me raise my son and I couldn't have done it without her. I wish I could have healed faster.  I never felt like enough: mature enough, responsible enough, whatever, fill in the blank, and not because I haven't tried.  I've come to believe I really have done the best I could.  I love her very much, even though I also can't stand her a lot of the time. 

All this, with the knowledge that she could possibly outlive us all. 

Sometimes I think I'm PMS, even though I haven't had a period in at least 12 years.  This might be one of those blogs I should only send to myself. I'm working on letting myself be more vulnerable, transparent, and communicative.  So, here I am, in a puddle.

Please don't feel like you need to even respond, it just feels good to know you're there, reading.  And, I hope it doesn't upset you. I know we are "supposed" to be a light and uplift... maybe that's where the art comes in.  This weekend will be my second "Whole-Hearted Art" workshop for Cancer survivors.  I'm thinking we should do a workshop for Life Survivors... for those of us who are still here. 

So, we sit at a table and make art out of books and magazines that were destined for recycling.  Kind of the way we are making art out of lives that are destined for ... light?

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