More Than Survival
Arachnoiditis Survivor Portrait For Kimberly is Complete. FYI: For the FIRST TIME EVER, July is Arachnoiditis Awareness month in FIVE states. We are working to grow that list in hopes that eventually, knowledge will Empower patients to prevent these spinal cord injuries. DISCOVERIES: I am learning that the learning NEVER ends. Each portrait in this series is intended to Empower the Arachnoiditis Survivor who is participating in the project. The part that I forgot to write into that intention is the way in which this process influences and Empowers me, too. I am a survivor too. When I originally designed the Arachnoiditis Survivor Portrait Project (The very first part of the Art For Arachnoiditis project) concept, it was simply a means to connect with other people having similar experiences....and to convey that sense of connection back to them. As I work through each of these portraits; I am still learning all of the ways in which I must accommodate the spinal arachnoiditis AS MUCH AS I absolutely must accommodate the consequences of my own decisions. Too many demands on my body create more obstacles. But, it is more than that. This is a healing & creative process for me. When I try to think about the outcome (i.e. how/where/when I will share it with others) and the promotional merit of the piece it seems to instantly turn to CRAP. The art here has become a lesson in personal forgiveness. Forgiving my "imperfections" as I work through learning what works. Additionally, as corny as it may sound; when I am in The Zone..creating and the muses are magical and it's all coming together...I am tuned in to the perspective of the Subject/Survivor... In that moment, I become increasingly in tune with the "Arachnoiditis Survivor" aspect of Me. Sometimes, I DON'T want to know that part of Me. I want to pretend she isn't there. Whether the inclination comes from fear, laziness, or some other icky place, it doesn't serve me to indulge it. But, I have to allow myself the freedom to work through it when I am ready. It just is NOT a ready-or-not-just-do-the-work kind of project (A Recent Epiphanette from My Heart-Brain Connection). This is the forgiveness part, too. Clearly, this is not a process which would ever lend itself to marketability or financial profit. Slowly, I am LEARNING ~that is OK. I am letting go of old notions about the Me I was supposed to be and turning a corner into accepting the ME that I am right now. The profit here is a priceless thing. It won't pay the bills, it won't get me from point A to point B, it won't put food on the table...BUT.... {and it's a big one I cannot lie! cue music... "and no other brother can deny..."} BUT it IS feeding an essential part of the main ingredients that keep me mentally healthy and thankful for the life that I have NOW. With much gratitude to Kimberly for her patience as I figure all of this out, I am posting this completed drawing. Kimberly will receive a FREE 11" x 14" copy of the drawing (without the PR text). The original drawing will be displayed as part of the FIRST Arachnoiditis Survivors Art Exhibit now touring upstate New York. [HOUSE-KEEPING: With public posts about the project, I am also supposed to say, "The Art For Arachnoiditis project is a charitable project of SheilaLynnK Art Studio fiscally sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Right now and until July 25th donors can receive Goods in Exchange for tax-deductible contributions made at the Rocket Hub Campaign. Tax-deductible contributions can also be made to the Art For Arachnoiditis Project via or a check made payable to the New York Foundation for the Arts and mailed to SheilaLynnK Art Studio 345 South Main Street, Wellsville, NY 14895."] The Rocket Hub campaign is also a learning experience. I am learning, I can make the art. I can share the intentions, but, I cannot FORCE public interest. Slowly, I am beginning to understand that I just need to RELEASE THE Art, The Love, and The WORK. What happens after that, is somewhat out of my hands. As Patreon does not (yet) make it possible to post links without losing the image; I will posting links to these details in the first comment of the thread for this post. Thanks fans, followers, patrons, and visitors for your continued encouragement and support for the Art For Arachnoiditis Project. ~Wishing you all a low pain day.
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