I've always been creative. That creativity drew me to Theater because of the exhilaration I felt performing in front of others. At the time, I looked at my artwork as doodling and took very little notice of its importance.
I moved to Colorado leaving behind years of physical therapy, doctors, and surgeries. I had new legs and felt that I was un-stoppable, and that my health problems were a thing of the past. The storm that had been fast on my tail was finally receding. Yet I was soon to discover that my battle with pain, sadness, and fear was not over. I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis that tied me back to those sterile waiting rooms. I kept my head above water, going for a positive outlook on the exterior and took the pills that were prescribed. The storm was not over. I began having seizures. My own body became my worst enemy, and one that I feared. Weighed down by the large quantities of medicines that were prescribed, I became angry. I slipped into resentment of the body I was given and "why me" circled around in the mind chatter of my brain.
Through a serendipitous meeting with an intuitive healer, Althea, I began my journey to recovery. She is an amazing woman who became a friend, teacher, and an inspiration.
I remember, very clearly the day in which this painting was created. After months of taking the bus, walking, and bumming rides I had been given the ok, by my Doctor to drive, only during daylight hours. I drove to a small town just outside of Denver, to seek the wisdom of Althea. I remember lots of sniffling, sobbing, and snot on my part. Althea stayed calm, collected and suggested to me that the medicine was good, to stop fighting it and allow it to help me.
I heard every word she said, but more importantly, I felt every word she said. I had been feeling so numb and abandoned and her simple words lifted a heavy burden off my shoulders. Very abruptly Althea looked at me and said, "You need to go NOW." I fluttered out of her house like a ballet dancer performing her greatest dance and looked up at the sky. The clouds were spiraling together in a mix of sunshine and darkness. The wind had picked up and a chill ran down my spine. I dashed to my car and drove. Behind me the sky grew darker and darker, but my little car was caught in this magnificent beam of sunshine. The closer I got to home the smaller the beam became, but it was still there. A small hole in the sky fought the darkness and lead me home and 45 minutes later I pulled into my driveway, and like a dream, the beam of light was swallowed by the dark clouds at the same moment that I switched the engine off. I sat there, stunned; was I dreaming?
The storm rolled in with power and might. Raindrops the size of golf balls fell from the sky. The moan of the screaming wind swirled around me as I sat in the safety of my car, feeling no fear. I raced inside my house and striped off every piece of clothing. I grabbed art supplies, that had grown dusty with neglect. I put a Phish album on called 'Billy Breathes' and I began to breath, in and out. I exhaled all the yuck that had been trapped inside my body and I painted. I lost track of all time. I had no idea what it was that I was painting, or where I was. The music was on a constant loop and the storm raged outside. After what seemed like one long breath mixed between days, I stepped back. I cried out, surprised, when I saw the image that sat on the canvas before me. This very same tree had intruded on my nighttime dreams for years. I felt as if I had fought my demons during the creation of this painting and found the voice that had been battling to come out.
The lesson that I learned was this: No matter how weak or defeated I may feel at times, my roots are strong. I always need to trust that truth. My roots will hold no matter how fierce the storm may seem. There is always sunshine after a storm...