Saturday, September 29, 2012

Art as Therapy

It has been one mixed-bag of a week.  Monday evening’s exciting gala and my exuberance for fall’s emerging splendor has been tempered with a day off work due to feeling about as ill as I have in some time (Tuesday), and then, receiving the very sad news of my dear sister-in-law’s heart attack and subsequent stroke on Thursday.

She had been hospitalized earlier in the week due to chest pains. Tuesday evening, we received word that test results indicated she had a golf-ball-sized clot in her heart.  Naturally, we feared for the worse—yet, held hope for the best. 

Late Thursday afternoon, Mark called me at work with news of her stroke.  In shock, I sat aside the financial report I’d been working away at.  All those numbers suddenly seemed foreign; my mind non-functioning. 

That evening, waiting for Mark to arrive home, my mind raced.  It chattered.  It encouraged me to feel guilty for not being at the hospital (even though that was eight hours from where we live).  It replayed the cherished, warm online discussion she and I had instant messaging on Facebook the night before (me in my home office—her from her hospital bed).  Her parting words to me: “Love to you both!”  Mine: “Back at ya, Sweetie!”  Understandably, I was somewhat of a wreck—feeling cagey—unable to write or focus or do anything but listen to that grating, internal chatter.  My head literally felt like it could spin off. 

As strange as it may sound, amidst the chaos, I pulled my art journal out and folders containing images.  Spreading it all out on the floor of my den, I found myself gluing images onto the page. 

No, the feelings of worry and sadness didn’t subside.  They were still there.  The incessant thoughts—shooting from every direction imaginable—those began to soften a bit—to take a backseat to the task I had before me (to sit and create art).  In those moments, I found somewhat of a sense of calm (at least more so than beforehand).  When Mark arrived home, I was able to be more fully present and in tune to his pain, his worry.

She has a long road to recovery before her, but we are holding the highest intentions for a full recovery.  Any intentions, prayers, dedicated thoughts you can offer to her are most welcome.

Joy & peace. T.