Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Gift?

I think I shared this interview with Etsy awhile back but wanted to bring it up again as I have been having some reflections on where life has brought me.

I have rheumatoid arthritis, a difficult disease to live with as are all chronic illnesses.  I had a bad day this week and was unable to get up and get moving.  The reflex response is frustration and I have to remind myself that this is my life and I must deal with what it hands me.  I have to remember to be patient and take care of myself.

It's these down days that I sometimes become most inspired.  I've realized because my body has made me slow down it's enabled me to explore my creative self.  I was always a mover, doer, a person that felt compelled to be doing something in order to feel productive.  I now realize it's nearly impossible to be reflective, thoughtful and creative when one is constantly moving.  RA taught me this.

 I do believe life and what happens to us  has a purpose.  So is my illness a gift?  Sometimes I think it is so.  I'm not sure I would have ever slowed down enough to realize my true creative self without it.

Of course I wish I didn't have this disease but there is no sense in lamenting.  I'm grateful for the ability to see what I've gained  from my life experiences.   Life is beautiful, difficult, crazy, fun, inspiring, painful and sometimes very hard but I truly believe that all of that is necessary for us to become and realize who we are and who we are to become.

So when life seems to much to bare, remember there will be knowledge to come from that pain.  To recognize it, learn and grow from it is our task at hand.


T.Knowley said...

I can truly relate to what you have said here. I've dealt with chronic illness for over 20 years and there are days when the frustration becomes overwhelming but at the same time I know had I not become ill I wouldn't be where I am now, I wouldn't know and have the understanding and compassion that I do, I also would not have the time for the reflection and creative moments that I have as well. So your post was one of those rare and wonderful moments for me of a connection and complete understanding of another.

Thanks for the post and the reminder. By the way your dolls are amazing. I have never seen anything that even compares. You are truly gifted.

LoopyBoopy said...

Thank you TK for your comments. Those are the best moments indeed:) You have a beautiful blog and I can see we are very likeminded!

oldblackcatboo said...

I am so happy whenever I see a post from you showing your amazing creations. You know that I think you are the best of the best!
I am sad that you have to experience any pain and suffering but the fact that you can look at your illness as a gift, shows what a positive and inspiring artist you are. This post came at just the right time for me. I've been feeling overwhelmed lately, with so many pots to stir, that I feel like I'm not getting anything done. I think I need to STOP, slow down and look around and figure out what is REALLY important to me.
Thanks again for this post and thanks for being you.

Sylvia-Louise Handbags said...

I second what T.Knowley says. I have suffered my own chronic illness for 17 years. I feel more empathy for people, and I have learned that we all suffer in some way. Thank you for sharing your insights. You are an amazing artist. Most days I'm not grateful for the pain, but occasionally I see the bigger picture and I appreciate the troubles I have. I almost always prefer my own to someone elses.

Ayala Art said...

I wish for you more up days than down.. I do know about paint too, only that in my case a surgery helped me (of course I had to wait till I couldn't move anymore, right?)
Thanks for sharing some more of you :o)

Poe said...

I'm so sorry for the pain you are suffering.
The face of your little doll is so sad, thoughtful, reflective, etc. I just want to pick it up and hold it tightly to me.
Your creations are amazing.

ODD imagination said...

What a profound and beautiful expression Colleen. I could not have said this any better! I have always felt a sense of connection with you and I see now that it goes deeper than our art. Thank you for sharing!

The Hermits' Garden said...

Thank you for sharing such an inspiring perspective. I've never had to deal w/ chronic illness, and marvel that you can be so wise in the wake of a rough time.

Get feeling better!

Papillon Bleu said...

I understand what you mean. Am sorry to hear about your pain though.In my case, it is knowing I wouldn't have children ( the consequence of an awful pregnancy) that changed everything in my life.
My body isn't aching though.
But you are right to see the bright side of things. Good on you!

LoopyBoopy said...

Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by!

I find it difficult to be so revealing at times but in doing so realize I am not alone in my thoughts and daily struggles. There is comfort in knowing we are not alone. Sharing is connecting.

I wish all those who ail more painfree and joyful days!!

jeyco said...

I'm sorry about your disease. I'm healthy but also have a problem that I may have to deal with rest of my life. Life isn't that easy, is it?

Anyway, I always look forward to seeing your amazing dolls since they grabbed my heart.

Please get better :)

Barbara said...

Thank you so much for what you've written today. I too have a chronic illness (or two) and I've always felt that I'm not a quitter, but you do have to learn to limit yourself at times or really pay the consequences. I think my illnesses have changed me for the better and have certainly made me a more understanding and compassionate person. Once again thank you. See you've touched a lot of lives today!

Hugs XX

Mitzi Miles-Kubota, Painting and Writing for REAL said...

I'm just emerging from a 7 year battle with all kinds of different body issues. No big, hairy ones like yours--just a series of things that put me out of commission.

I, like you, am a doer, mover, maker. I like being constantly busy. I feel happiest with deadlines looming and too much to do.

And guess what? I can't do that anymore.


I have recovered enough to begin to repair all of the stuff around the house that has suffered in my absence. But I can only work for so long before I have to rest. My body begins to feel "brittle." That's the only way I can describe it. And then I have to stop.

I understand completely when you say it's a gift in a way. You don't have to think if you're always on the run. Or is it that you don't GET to think when you're always on the run?

I don't know yet.

BTW: I love your dolls! I "feel" them!