Sunday, 22 June 2008

Art Heals... I Swear

I've been ill for so long, in fact I'm sick of being sick, if that makes sense. Being ill is hard, it takes away your focus and purpose. The working man or woman may think that it could be great fun being at home all the time, watching TV, reading, surfing the net... but in reality when you are ill you have no focus.

You watch TV, but don't really remember what you watched as halfway through the programme you were in pain and it made you miss what was said for 5 minutes, or your drugs made you sleepy and, "you know...I'm sure I nodded off for a few minutes then".

But the worst of being ill, is not knowing one day to the next how you will feel, not being able to plan your life, not even the minutiae. You may have 2 great days, so you think "tomorrow I will clear out that cupboard" you don't even realise that you are feeling a little better, you just have the energy to focus on something and... strangely... you are looking forward to clearing out that cupboard. You can't remember what's actually in the cupboard, there may be new shoes, new art supplies, an unread book... and so clearing out that cupboard has become "something to look forward too".

Then tomorrow dawns bright and clear... and you feel crap. You can hardly get out of bed, your head is pounding, you feel sick and you think to yourself, "but I was going to clear out that cupboard today..." and you realise that you don't feel well enough... not even well enough to clear out a cupboard.

I guess that's about when I discovered the healing nature of art. If I am in pain, I find relief in focusing on scrawling in my art journal. It doesn't have to be artistic, it doesn't have to be a fabulous work... just splotching paint or ink or watercolour pencils or wax pastels takes me to a different place... and suddenly two hours have gone past.

Since I added art to my life, things have definitely got better for me. I have started to *enjoy* more, I have started to relax more, I enjoy letting go and making art heals me... I swear.

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