Embrace each challenge in your life as an opportunity for self-transformation. Bernie S. Siegel
July 31 was the date of my follow up appointment with the doctor. He took x-rays and said, “Your pelvis fractures are healing, go back and keep on doing nothing.” To say my spirit was broken is not an exaggeration. I had set my heart on being able to enjoy the rest of the summer. All I heard was, you are not healed yet. So I had to face myself and look at that disappointment. Because, boy oh boy, did that hurt! This may have been the hardest emotional challenge of this whole experience. I felt really trapped now and I could not see any end. I know that this feeling was illogical because I was healing. Still the emotional reality was one of devastation. I needed to allow the deep frustration and scary thoughts, without giving into despair, I just allowed those feelings to be and watched them evaporate, as emotions do if you do not feed them with panicky thoughts. This was not a one time occurrence. I had to sit with this day after day. About this time, I listened to a talk about Plato's allegory of the cave. You know the one, where people are imprisoned in a cave, chained into position. They can only see shadows cast on the wall in front of them. They never see anything directly. They believe the shadow of things are the actual things. By extension, we too see only projections and never the true essence of things. We tell ourselves stories, and give credence to our interpretations of events. I recognized that this applied to my situation. I had to remember that there is a light and that if I tried, unlike those in the cave I could see the true essence of things. On that day, and the next two I turned to my work as an aid to release my disappointment. Each day I was starting fresh, using the good I had gleaned from painting on previous days. I continued to pay homage to Bonnard by using some of the complementary colors he did. I no longer referred to the domestic scenes at all. Each painting focused on expanding a section or a detail of his work.
This painting completed on August first, has the feeling of August, when many plants give up their bright colors, fading toward brown or going to seed. It is still so hot, the yellows and oranges carry all that heat. But now and then, there is a breeze. There is lots of air in this painting, the spaces carry the breeze.
This painting, completed on August 2, has stains of light contrasting with dark color and the bare paper showing through creates marks and shapes of its own. I hope you can feel the breezes that made the heat of August tolerable.
By facing my frustration at continuing to be home and couch bound, I was brought to a realization that brokenness. creates an opportunity for healing that can not happen any other way. As my physical body healed itself, and I continued to meditate and paint, my perspective shifted from dark to light, which allowed the Divine to peak in through the cracks of what, had seemed to be, my shattered life.
There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in. Leonard Cohen