Yesterday was an overwhelmingly inspiring day.  It was not expected, but it was very welcomed.  I went to see an art show at the UWM gallery, Inova: http://www4.uwm.edu/psoa/about/inova_exhibits.html where I was beyond moved by the work of Gregory Martens.  If you live in Milwaukee, I highly recommend checking it out!  Here is an exert from the UMW press release:

Martens’ installation is a series of screen prints on paper that tell his story as a bone marrow cancer survivor. The unframed prints are mounted directly on the gallery wall like posters and are arranged from diagnosis to treatment, and finally remission. Martens offers this visual tour in order to share his weakness, vulnerability, defiance, and hope, as the illness turned his life upside-down. Says Martens, “Touring Myeloma is an attempt to put the cataclysmic experience into perspective through narrative. As cancer traveled through me, I traveled through cancer. This is the story of one man trying to hold on to his identity through adversity.”

As I respectfully walked through the perspective of Gregory's struggle, I was overcome with a sense that something bigger than myself was happening through his art; healing.  Being in the field of art therapy, it is hard enough to try and relate what it is exactly we 'do' in our field, let alone explain the monumental power art has to help one heal through their own journey of inner exploration.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_therapy  But I know it happens every day, as do many other art therapists who have either witnessed this phenomenon or experienced it for themselves.  I intern at a hospital where cancer patients use art as a container to hold the turmoil surrounding their journey.  It. Is. Powerful.  And yesterday I watched Gregory's story unfold through serigraphy, screen printing.  His struggle with battling cancer as a man and then overcoming the disease was palpable through his artwork. 

Then I met Greg.  What an authentic, true artist.  He humbly spoke of his journey, his art, and his voice as a cancer survivor.  My supervisor, the other interns and myself were blown away by this man.  He was awe inspiring.  I was so intrigued about his process and how the art played a role in helping him heal, (Greg said the harder he worked on the art, the more he healed) I am going to write my thesis around the healing quality of art and a case study of the artist, Gregory Martens, and his journey.   

Today, my words and my art (see photos) are homage to people who are brave in the midst of the storm.  There are many of you in my life and I am proud to say I know you.  Thank you for your courage, it is a sweet inspiration. 



A brisk afternoon envelops me as I listen to lively songs by, The Hot Club of San Francisco: http://www.hcsf.com/ and the lovely, Alex Pangman: http://www.alexpangman.com/. Wisconsin is not good at making up its mind when it comes to weather, especially near the end of March.  Sunny and warm one day with outdoor patio dining, snowy and frigid the next.  If you live in the midwest, you understand the frustration of living in the midwest.  The cold attempts to hang on as long as possible after winter.  Conversely, the warmth of summer ebbs its way into autumn without hesitation.  Either way, as annoying as this teeter tottering may be, I have fully come to appreciate having all four seasons at my fingertips.  

I have thrown all responsibilities to the wind for the day, virtually impossible for me in this season of my life.  I have traded in art therapy grad classes for taking crisp photographs of treaures in my apartment with growing anticipation of editing them (see photos).  Instead of interning at the hospital, I am making homemade granola.  A glorious day off of work from the group home inspires me to create a blog, which I hope to be of interest for at least one person (you).  I haven't changed out of my pajamas and the only reason I would now is to go take in an afternoon film alone.  I am catching up on reading books I have dug out from under piles of required texts. I drink coffee far too late in the day.  Lately, it seems I have forgetten how to just be.  As soon as I rest my soul, I am reminded of the importance of Sabbath.  So today, with intention, I focus on simply being.  How renewing it feels to slow down my rhthym.  How much I need to learn how to lean on Grace.  How I miss my one true love.  How I long to be in a summer field of sweet wildflowers.  Until then I dream, until then I create.