“Alice, falling, looked down to see where she was headed, but everything below her was darkness.” from H is for Hawk.
November 2014 through April 2015 felt like darkness, falling. I was a stranded gypsy. All my plans to meet new people, introduce myself to Wilmington, NC gallery owners, and spend mornings walking at Wrightsville and Carolina Beaches, getting inspired and getting in shape disintegrated in one fall from a broken step! Three days after I arrived in Wilmington, I broke my collarbone and was out of commission for two months. I couldn’t drive, the jarring of the shoulder made it painful to walk at all… I wasn’t even able to open a can of soup without help.
And so, my gypsy world shrank…collapsed in on itself….Friends cooked for me, drove me places, shoved dvds into players to entertain me. For the foreseeable future, my traveling days were on hold. By Christmas I was driving again, and as soon as I began my PT for the collarbone, I slipped in the snowy woods of Maryland and broke my wrist in two places. Both the collarbone and the wrist breaks occurred on my right side, and, yes, I am right handed.
By mid February I was beginning to panic… I had an upcoming art exhibit that needed to be complete by late June….4 rooms to fill, for my first one woman show, and I hadn’t yet begun!!! The broken bones kept me from painting any detail or from typing on the computer. So, this gypsy travelled inward instead.
And I found that the groundedness, the “being stuck” was a gift. While I day dreamed in Annie’s NC backyard, reading poetry, watching wolf documentaries and movies on Netflix; while I studied Caroline Myss and Louise Hay teachings; while I struggled to wash my hair or make my 92 year old Mom a ham sandwich, my creative endeavors ironed themselves out.
My novel turned into the memoir it was always meant to be; I finally understood that I needed to own my story rather than mask it in fiction. At the same time, my focus sharpened regarding my art exhibit, so that by May, when I was set up in my studio back home in MA, the word collages and body sculptures, the wolf pelts and storytelling paintings flowed out of me at a pace I’d never experienced. And for that I was beyond grateful. The dark immobile days of winter tumbled into a near frenzy of activity.
I titled my exhibit “Resilience/ Reverence/Resistance.” My next couple of blogs will explore those themes.