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?