Wow...its almost the end of January, already. Since its regularly a slow time in the event caricature business, I decided to wait until February to start classes at my studio so that I might in fact have time to paint, work on my own drawings, sketch everyday, spend lots of time with my family, make some great meals, perhaps even deep clean the house again, etc. I had huge expectations for the way that I would spend this time, however it has proven to be completely different than what I anticipated.
A week and a half ago, I drew caricatures at a gig for (ironically enough) a chiropractic event and did some serious damage to my back and sciatic nerve. My back and hips had been very stiff from so many drawing hours (on bad chairs and very little stretching) through Christmas and it all cumulated into severe, debilitating, physical pain that night. Since then, I have been mentally distracted and physically stranded by the pain...limiting my thoughts and actions to short bursts of necessity.
And then of course, the sadness of Danny's death continues to wash over me with waves of disbelief. I keep waiting to wake up and tell Mark about this horrible nightmare I had where Danny didn't get better and he had died...but then I realize, I am not asleep....this really is it.
Tonight, when I stumbled upon this quote from South Park (of all places), I saw a ray of light through the trees...
"I love life...Yeah, I'm sad, but at the same time, I'm really happy that something could make me feel that sad. It's like...It makes me feel alive, you know. It makes me feel human. The only way I could feel this sad now is if I felt something really good before. So I have to take the bad with the good. So I guess what I'm feeling is like a beautiful sadness."
I am still feeling pain and sadness, but I know that the only way I could feel this now is if I felt something really good before. I apparently needed a wake up call to take better care of my body and not just expect it to suffer silently with the long, long hours of sitting and drawing. I also know that I loved Danny and I will continue to love the very special people in my life as deeply and authentically as I can, because well...its all life and I'll take the good with the bad.
What do you say to someone you love who is quickly nearing the end of their life at 57 years old? I really don't know. But scanning in my daughter's drawings and writing a cheezy Dr. Suess "like" poem felt right tonight and gave me something to do with the waves of sadness.
Goodbye Danny a "GREAT" bye for you, (as great a bye as I could do).
Goodbye Christmas tree
Hello tears all single file
Goodbye arms that held you tight Hello memories, shining light. Goodbye Danny, love you—I do! Hello heart that's missing you.
Thanks to my little Piper for all her drawings in this goodbye to her uncle Danny
Standing on the threshold of this brand new year, I resolve to imagine and live my moments in single file.
"Most of us think ourselves as standing wearily and helplessly at the center of a circle bristling with tasks, burdens, problems, annoyance, and responsibilities which are rushing in upon us. At every moment we have a dozen different things to do, a dozen problems to solve, a dozen strains to endure. We see ourselves as overdriven, overburdened, overtired. This is a common mental picture and it is totally false. No one of us, however crowded his life, has such an existence.
What is the true picture of your life?
Imagine that there is an hour glass on your desk. Connecting the bowl at the top with the bowl at the bottom is a tube so thin that only one grain of sand can pass through it at a time. That is the true picture of your life, even on a super busy day, The crowded hours come to you always one moment at a time. That is the only way they can come. The day may bring many tasks, many problems, strains, but invariably they come in single file.
You want to gain emotional poise? Remember the hourglass, the grains of sand dropping one by one." ~James Gordon Gilkey