Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Five Winter Poplars-update

                                                                       I pad drawing

As much as I love the technology, Procreate and other drawing software is nowhere near the sensual experience of real painting. It lacks the spontaneity and therefore the joy. Yet I`m glad I`ve had something to keep my visual mind active. I`ve learned how extremely complex painting is and how supple and responsive hand-eye coordination can be. I haven`t thought about my own art too much through all of this. Being completely unable to attend to it, it`s been healthier to read about other artists and cultures.
After appointments today with my doctors, I`m getting an idea of what the endgame will be. They are encouraged by the tests and especially by the fact that for being so ill, I`m not sick. In fact personally, the greatest challenge has been psychological. It has felt like a mortal threat at times. Though I remind myself frequently that this is not chemotherapy, not kidney dialysis, that I still do have functioning legs, my rational thinking has been of little use. At least during the setbacks, and there have been a few of those. Disability and dependence have been the terrors, not death.
When I was a young fit runner, I used to joke about having such a strong heart. That in my old age my joints would have long been incapacitated but that I`d be trapped in a wheelchair unable to die. This infection got me much closer to that than I ever want to be. Yet I suspect if truly faced with such a reality, I would want to continue.  
Last November 8, Illinois elected a woman veteran to the US Senate who lost both her legs in the Iraq war. Tammy Duckworth remains and is whole enough to contribute to the civic life of our country. She is not her body. I am not my body.
So I`m sure I`m learning tons of wise stuff, but I don`t ask me what. Vulnerability is scary. A lot of uncomfortable questions about being worthy or good enough arise rather than the simple gratitude kindness deserves. 
There has been an abundance of that, let me tell you. To a person, everyone at Kaiser has been exceptionally encouraging and empathetic. New friends have offered their help open heartedly and older pals have been with me throughout this thing. John and my family have been unshakable. I appreciate every loving comment. Because you took the time to say it. If I`m learning anything, it`s how to be nicer.
Hope to be back in the studio in two weeks, driving in three.
Spring in Oregon will coincide with my returning health, it will be beautiful.


RH Carpenter said...

It all sounds good and I know you are still healing but it won't be much longer. Hope you got my last card and that my odd sense of humor doesn't offend. I love the iPad painting and know the brushes will be back in your hands soon. I had to smile when you said it will make you kinder - I thought that after my health scare but I'm the same impatient and crabby woman! Oh, well...I also have some good qualities which, I hope, balance things out. And I believe you are already very kind and caring - you can't hide that from those of us who have been following your blog for a long time. Spring will arrive, you'll be out walking soon (in the meantime, winter has landed here again instead of spring).

Sarah Bachhuber Peroutka said...

Missing you and looking forward to seeing you up and about again.

Ruth Armitage said...

You are on the mend - and you are so worth it! I can't wait to see the pent up energy that erupts when you come back to the studio.

Libby Fife said...


Disability and dependence. That about sums up my own fears too about my health and the aging process.

My own experience tells me that it's hard to know what transformations will take place as a result of being gravely ill. You think a certain change will happen (I'll be kinder, etc.) and the truth is that you just can't predict things. In many ways, you simply stay the same. But look for the unexpected changes:) That is what ultimately brings back some joy.

I am very glad that you have such a solid support base and good care. What a true blessing for you.

Take care-the IPad drawing is electric!

Donna Thibodeau said...

I'm taking care of a sick husband and it has made me kinder too. I'm much more appreciative of him. Somehow when bad things happen we gain wisdom. The good times don't cause such growth somehow. This will be behind you in a year and will make a good story. Just keep doing what you must do to get feeling better. The paintings will come again.

Melody Cleary said...

I'm sure you're feeling a little depressed and, yes, vulnerable, right now....I think men are especially prone to this. Having to be dependent on people does make us be kinder, doesn't it? One day at a time. I love this piece. Amazing how your style is still there even digitally.

Randall David Tipton said...

Thank you Donna, I appreciate what you`re saying. Your husband`s trouble is giving you a measure of grace. This stuff is important.