fly away

I did this painting some years ago when I was sick. I really wanted to be out there on that beach, out of my body and away from the life that I was living at that moment because it was filled with loneliness and illness. Not aloneness, but loneliness, there’s a difference. I was married and had two beautiful young children, so I wasn’t alone. Yet as my health failed and weeks became months and those months dragged into years of living in a body that had become a kind of prison, I felt isolated. I was like one of those mimes in an invisible box, I could see the life that I wanted to be part of happening all around me, but I couldn’t quite get to it, it was just out of my reach.

That is what chronic illness is, what it does to those living with it. If you’re lucky and have a supportive family and good doctors some of that burden is lifted, but even still, it is a journey that wears on the body and on the soul. Nietzsche once wrote, What does not kill me makes me stronger. I would sometimes think about those words back then, and the truth is, I sure didn’t feel like I was getting stronger. I think that what life’s trials really teach us is that we can survive. We can do what we never thought we had the strength or the courage to do. Are we stronger? Maybe, maybe not. But as we step out of that box, battered and scarred from the crossing, we take with us the wisdom that no matter how dark the day the wings of hope can take us anywhere we want to go:)

For I am bound with fleshly bands,
Joy, beauty, lie beyond my scope;
I strain my heart, I stretch my hands,
And catch at hope.

~ Christina Rossetti

21 thoughts on “fly away

  1. Beautiful painting, reminds me of the poem Sea Fever
    I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying. — John Masefield

  2. I hate to post such trivia after such a thought provoking post, but I think you are the keeper of the Six Word Memoir, book. I will add your site to my list of good reads. Read you later.

  3. It’s me again Margaret. I have been aking myself, and the dictionary, what a “meme” is. Sounds like something you’d call your grandmother, or some bothersome insect. Could you provide the answer? Forever in your debt, The Texican

  4. A very beautiful painting. As you know, I too have suffered from chronic illness. I started painting when I got sick, to help with the loneliness and to divert my attention from the pain I was in. Painting was very healing in that it served as an outlet for expression as well as a vehicle that could transport me to place of beauty and peace. No wonder I painted so many flowers back then…

  5. Lilli, I love this painting. Is that a bird or an angel in the sky or am I seeing things? I read your profile and though I’m not a virgo, I’m certainly OCD at times, especially with art, writing and birds!

  6. beautiful open outpouring! i think it as a text, has wings. love the little half dileneated figure hoovering in the sky of your painting, too–lively brush strokes, made me think of the sand, the sea. Hope you are warm, imagining spring.

  7. Whenever I think of escape or healing I think of the ocean. I can imagine myself on that very beach meditating to the sound of the waves…

    Beautiful picture!

  8. Gorgeous painting, and beautiful thoughts. My walk down Chronic Pain Lane has been an interesting one, learning some sort of balance between the push to feel better and the pull to settle in with my “new” self. Lately i’ve been feeling less than great, so i’ve been knitting and sewing and organizing, all things that leave me feeling i’ve accomplished something. 🙂

  9. Thank you for this post. And for stopping by my blog. Sometimes I wonder about strength. Is it about the power to overcome, or rather ability to maintain perspective. Anyway I like your perspective…. a view of the ocean. Such peace in that.

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