Thursday, April 9, 2009

Let the Healing Begin...In Truth

The snow is melting, the April sun has some warmth to it and it's been busy in the North Shore Clay studio over the past few weeks and months. I told myself last fall that if I just stayed busy enough that winter would fly by and spring would be here soon enough. In theory, it worked well and I tried not to "think" too much about how long the winters can be here on the North Shore of Lake Superior and wiled away the long days and nights not only dreaming about the success that I want for myself, but truly trying to make it happen. And then I had the proverbial "aha" moment. You know the kind I'm talking about. The kind of moment when you realize that everything you have been working for is actually bigger than you...It's not about you anymore. In fact, it has never been about you. Let me explain.

If you are a follower of my blog then you know that I have chronic pain, blah, blah, blah... and I have three forms of arthritis, blah, blah, blah...and that working with clay has been a therapy for me and now I can't insert the "blahs" anymore, because this is where my "aha" moment gets started. Some days my pain was so intense that all I could do was cry. Finding "clay" gave me something else to think about. Chronic pain is really "in your face." It's always there and it never goes away. Strong pain medication is not the answer. Your body will get used to the pain medication and you will need more and more and it will not be pretty. Some measure of healing can begin with art. The telling of your story through art will begin the healing. You will still have pain. Art will not stop your pain, but it will get it "out of your face." The medium you choose does not matter, the mere act of choosing will stimulate your mind away from your pain. From there, the process begins, what message are to you trying to deliver through your art, what story would you like to tell, what beauty do you see that you would like to interpret in your own way and through your own vision. I once met a young man who was so consumed with physical pain, that when the leader of the group asked him to share one beautiful thing he saw over the past week, he sat for a full five minutes and thought about it. At the end of those long minutes he said that he did not see one beautiful thing that week. Tears of great sadness stained my cheeks that day and I realized that I was still able to see the beauty in my life. I went home and found my favorite picture of twin fawns standing in a clearing at the edge of my yard back lite by the sun and took it with me the next day to class to give it to the young man. I wanted to share my abundance of beauty with him. Sadly, he never returned, they put the picture of the fawns on the bulletin board with his first name in case he ever came back and I often think about him and what becomes of someone who can see no beauty.

If you are struggling with pain issues it may seem like there is no beauty anymore. It may seem like you are alone with your pain. It's okay to tell the story of your pain. It's not whining. It's your truth...I'll say that again...If you are having pain issues...It's your truth...the difference between those of us who strive to remain strong and true to ourselves and those that don't is that we keep moving our feet. Simple thing I know, but it's true. If you stop moving your feet you're done for. Find something that you are passionate about and let it sweep you away! There is no time like now to take control of yourself and believe that a measure of healing can begin for you.

Each one of my clay pendants and necklaces are inspired by something that I have been through personally or something that I strongly believe in: For example, this necklace is titled Salmon Run, It is my personal request to keep our rivers and streams clean so that the Salmon can continue to return to their origins like they have for all time. We have polluted the waters and built man made barriers that have made it almost impossible for the salmon to spawn.
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23378878
This next piece is simply Jesus on the Cross and I don't think any explanation is necessary. Jesus is my Savior and I thank him for saving me...
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23380564

One last thing before I close, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of these necklaces will be donated to the Arthritis Foundation. There are over 100 forms of arthritis and those 100 forms of arthritis are the #1 cause of disability and pain in the United States.

Please be sure to visit my shop for other handmade necklaces that are for sale. If you are visiting on the North Shore of Lake Superior you can find my necklaces at the Mocha Moose and at the North Shore Cafe! Watch for more information soon!

I would love to hear your stories of healing through art. I'm hoping to put together a collection. Thank you for taking the time to listen and I hope that I have inspired you in some small way to pick up a brush and canvas, or dust off those watercolors or get some clay and let the healing begin...in truth.



5 comments:

Sara said...

I'm so glad you've found something healing about creating art. :) When I was about 15 I went through a really hard time emotionally and picking up a pencil and starting to draw helped get me through that. Without art, I would've felt even more alone than I already did at that time. I always love to hear about others who have found healing in art.

Giftbearer said...

This is a great topic to write about! I have Sarcoidosis and my art really gives me something to look forward to as well. Many days the beauty is what keeps me going.

Also, I find that cooking with large quantities of Basil and Rosemary works to reduce chronic pain. You can buy powdered Rosemary if there's a Farmer's Market near you (if you don't like the pine-like form it usually comes in).

I have a dog who has health issues too that I adopted from a shelter. Her story is very inspiring. Now I'm helping others obtain the treatment she got which cured her of the Distemper virus.

Come check out my blog at http://artlifenewsblog.blogspot.com

Kala Pohl Studio said...

I live with pain too. I paint and make jewelry and it has indeed helped me heal. I also volunteer with a program called Arts in Medicine at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. All about using arts to heal:):) Keep creating, your work is beautiful:)

TresArtsy said...

In addition to a gift with clay, you have an ability to communicate. You use them both so well...

Jeanne Selep said...

Wow, this blog post was very insightful. Your AH HA moment sounds like you are allowing craft and creativity to distract you from the pain that is a constant in your life. What a great solution. I have to think about this more.