This painting saved me. My husband, Shane, a healthy, young, non-smoker, was recently diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer. Of course, it was devastating to our family. How could we cope with the uncertainty that now plagued our future? None of us is ever guaranteed another minute, but now we were forced to face our mortality. How could we move forward with our lives and integrate this experience, forever changed, but not broken?
There was a brief hospitalization a few weeks ago, and during that stay it was discovered that there was quite a bit of progression to the brain... devastation anew.
Making Art is my way of coping when I am faced with difficulty. Somehow, I learned at a very young age that through the act of creation, one can feel the presence of a God so infinitely wise and powerful that our human concerns seem inconsequential. I remember the first time this happened for me, and coincidentally, I was drawing a bird then, too, a tufted tit-mouse, still my favorite.
This, however, is a hummingbird. The tradition in the Andes of South America teaches that the hummingbird is a symbol for resurrection. On cold nights, the tiny birds become lifeless and seem to die, but when the sun rises they miraculously come back to life! In our culture, hummingbirds symbolize living life to the fullest and making the most of every minute. Unless we are very fortunate, life will send us our share of troubles. These are the ink stains. We have to find a way to turn them into something more. The poem that follows is part of the painting:
From Ink Stains to Hummingbirds
Blue Black Stains have fallen on us
We will be forever changed
No more the pale, pristine, uncolored surface
In time, the Darkness will dissipate
broken by Rays of Light
magnified and brought into focus through our Tears
brought to order by our Prayers
Colors will find their way to the surface
They will transform the Blue Black Stain
and we will become the Vision of the Hummingbird
We will learn to fly forward and backward -to stop time
to kiss every flower and love life with every breath
We will no longer fear when our movement ceases at midnight
Quietly, peacefully, we will wait for the Resurrection of the Dawn
Birds are symbolic of a great many things. Does a bird mean something special to you?
5/6/2014 03:38:49 pm
There are no words! I love you and your precious family!
5/7/2014 02:21:11 pm
Love you, too Michelle!
5/6/2014 03:55:42 pm
You have such a wonderful talent! I'm so glad you find refuge in painting. Much love and prayers for your family.
5/7/2014 02:22:06 pm
Thank you, Amy.
5/6/2014 04:00:17 pm
This is some of your best work! Know that you and your family are my prayers.
5/7/2014 02:24:45 pm
Hope to see you again this summer! Do you know that you showed me how to find this part of myself? Love you.
5/7/2014 01:01:03 am
Beautiful! We are praying
5/7/2014 02:26:10 pm
Thank you, Megan and Amy for your comments. Your prayers are appreciated.
5/8/2014 02:48:51 am
Your talent, not only in painting, but also poetry, take my breath away!
5/8/2014 02:57:39 pm
Dottie, glad you like it! I should have your proof soon.
5/24/2014 03:03:26 am
6/3/2014 02:23:19 pm
Cristy, this is absolutely beautiful, both the painting and the poem. I'm from the Inspire site and follow one of the the threads you frequent. I am so impressed with your faith and your strength. I also lean heavily on my faith to get me through as I also have stage IV ALK lung cancer. Thank you for sharing your beautiful talent with us!
6/4/2014 09:11:11 pm
Cristy, I can only echo the sentiments of the rest of the Inspire group - you are a true inspiration, strong beyond measure and a ray of hope and light in such times. Though I may not post a lot (at times anyway) know that I frequently check-in on the site to see how you and Shane are doing.
12/13/2016 09:15:55 am
Cristy, I love the painting even more now that I know more of what hummingbirds mean for you. The poem blows me away. God has so richly blessed your creativity in painting and thought. My view of the hummingbird is forever changed. Jason
9/6/2019 10:29:39 pm
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