This is the most difficult writing task that I have ever undertaken. It arrives "out of the blue" really... because for two weeks and a bit, I really believed that I had no ability or further desire to either write... or paint. To put is quite succinctly, I found myself overwhelmed and in a complete state of emotional and creative disarray. The worst part of this situation was that the cause lay beyond my own physical ability to rally my own forces and interior resolve to deal with this upheaval. It came from without... suddenly and without warning.
Allison appeared with her Mom at our home in Rockport and I could tell immediately from their faces and body language that something terrible was shared by them both. It was only when my wee Allison fell into my arms and blurted,,, " I have breast cancer Dad and I"m so scared." With those eight utterly devastating words... our lives have changed beyond belief... both for Now and forever. For the treacherous shadow of that dreaded "c" word has perched on each of our shoulders and has taken us away from a now faraway life of taken-for-granted health and mortal safety.
Our Family is a strong and unusually loving one... as I have always related in my open and often too personal posts. At this point of writing... we have as a family unit moved somewhat quickly through the initial stages of fear... grief and anger. These are necessary emotional human responses... but must not be embraced wholly for any length of time. Time is more precious than ever now... and the use of it a major factor in striking back quickly with a capable medical team and a battle plan... which we are greatly blessed to have in place already.
Tests were rapidly sped up and showed positive and encouraging results... in-service workshops have been attended by Allie, Joan and I to create personal knowledge and understanding of the disease... and its path of treatment. We have already successfully passed through the first chemotherapy treatment ... together... which will be the format for all other necessary treatments. Deb keeps the fort here at the Gallery. "We"are... a committed Family in every respect.... and like the Musketeers... "We are all for one... and one for all !"
Needless to say... this insidious situation has created far-reaching effects and implications. For me personally... "I" have suffered creative "arrest." This paralysis hearkens back to a very dark and destructive time in my own past. I have rarely been visited by it since that period now twenty odd years passed. In reflecting upon this very problem each morning during my 5:00 am meditation-prayer sunrise ritual... I formed a pact to use the strategy which freed me and returned me to the path of healing "way back when". I must paint!
Yesterday... I set up my tabletop set up in the Gallery and set to work on a small 8x10 inch canvas... a replica of one which I had earlier gifted to Allison/ She had asked me weeks ago if I might consider doing a small copy of this painting for a good friend of hers who admired it every time that she came to the house. Her husband had very recently passed away from cancer and Allie felt it might give her a lift. I rarely... if ever wish to paint a subject a second time... and never exactly the same.
This three pronged reason to paint "resuscitated"... and fueled me to get back into the saddle. I was painting for my Self... for Allie and for her friend. The subject was a place near our home where Allison, Andrew and I went to paint together when they were very young children. It is a lovely stone church in historic Barriefield Village... an idyllic place to paint... heightened by the intense lilac perfume which comes from the walls of lilac that bloom in May along the full length of "Lilac Row".
I hesitated to post to protect Allie's privacy... but she insisted that I keep posting because it was something that I contributed to the lives of so may blogging artist friends. One of her own friends Jill had posted on Face Book two days ago... a message of tribute and support for Allison Sherman. It literally went viral overnight... and to my knowledge (though I do not have a face Book connection) has raised over $6000 to help alleviate any extra expenses that she might face because of her financially precarious adjunct professorship status at Queen's University - such a travesty for such a generous... dedicated and respected young woman scholar!
If you felt inclined... I would be greatly honoured if you might at least visit and read the tribute to Allison... and the comments that have been accompanied by generosity. This magnificent gesture lends ample proof to my earlier words and continuing belief that;
" Family ... Friends... Children and Art matter!"
I would as well appreciate your thoughts and prayers for our family. Sorry for the delay in posting... but life can... and does get in the way! First things first.
"I" love "You"... forever Allison... and am with "You" ... ALWAYS!
That means Family and Friends for "Me"!
Good Painting!... to ALL!!!!
Original 20 x 24 inch canvas
"Lilac Liturgy" (copy) oil on canvas 8 x 10 inches