Swim!


I am truly like the proverbial cow’s tail (always behind). I have been so busy with a very heavily scheduled routine, filled with appointments to my various practitioners (weekly chiropractor, acupuncture. Hell, I am even on a 3 month teeth cleaning recall these days). Then there is my toiling as the mediocre bookkeeper that I am for my husband’s business. I am doing a little bit of scribbling in my sketchbook, but nothing I’ve latched on to emotionally (yet). I have no drawing of cows to display here.

I have this fish though. I drew it for a friend (whom I’ve known since childhood) when she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. The caption for it is “Swim!”. When I drew it, I remember feeling like illness must feel like a giant net ready to scoop you up and pull you out. And at the moment when you realize the net is there to grab you, someone screams at the top of their lungs: “Run! Get the hell out of there! “

I want just the opposite. I want to rest in the net and pretend that the house won’t go to hell overnight if I don’t clean it every day. Wanting time to do your art has to be one of the most torturous yearnings one can endure. Like having a crush on someone who doesn’t return the feeling, you feel almost spoiled and selfish for wanting it at all costs with such little return. And sometimes I can’t figure out if my responsibilities are the “net” or if my lack of exercising my talent is the “net”.

To be clear: I am, in no way, saying that I wish major illness upon myself or that illness has any role energetically in the creative process, although it may for some people. It’s more of a metaphor for priorities, and the sudden slap of awakening that one needs in order to get busy, whether it is toward the process of healing, or creating, or anything that is otherwise taken for granted in favor of the less urgent things in life like housecleaning, or unpacking a suitcase, or shopping for t-shirts and the myriad other things that absorb small chunks of my day until it is eaten away along with the sunlight I need to draw. And if creating actually did have some role in healing, wouldn’t we do it first? It’s about priorities, and if you are woman, it’s often about stealing time to do something that is good for YOU, not the others in the household, which gets into a whoooole other set of nonsense tapes that play in our heads and kill the energy needed to get started. It’s about suddenly getting the RIGHT to be selfish. Is illness the the only excuse we are allowed?

Also, full disclosure, I copied the fish in large part from a photo of a textile. Sometimes, when you are TRULY stuck and inert, copying something helps break up the logjam. As for my personal logjam, that was the first thing I drew OF ANY SORT in 20 years. And now here I am trying to keep it all going and discussing it on a blog. But that fishnet? That’s aaaaall me, baby.

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