Eleven weeks post surgery, and I’m finally at a point where the whole breast issue is not top of mind for me. Thank god for that! My recovery is continuing well. I’m moving much more easily, and sleeping better. Slowly my energy levels are returning and discomfort levels have substantially reduced. My scars have settled down a lot, looking much less red and raw than they were. Life is slowly returning to “normal”, whatever “normal” is going to be for me!
For almost all of this year the surgery has preoccupied my thoughts for just about every waking moment, particularly in the last few months, so it is really refreshing to have new things to think about! And of course, one of these is my art.
In the weeks before my surgery I painted the canvas above, and called it, “Life is a Tapestry”. This was inspired by my last, long conversation with Lou, where she said that she considered many of her relationships to be like a tapestry, with bright spots, dark parts, and little bits of silver here and there. I took this sentiment and painted a garden tapestry as an analogy for life. Flowers all have a special meaning, so I chose the flowers to reflect my life, counting my blessings for all of the good in it, whilst also recognising there will be dark and scary parts too. Often in these dark parts we can find hidden treasures (represented by touches of silver and gold in the paint there) and learn more about ourselves in the process. I’ve listed the meanings of the flowers at the end of this post.
When we made the arrangements for Lou’s end of life service, we were assisted by Tobin Bros in Melbourne. I left them one of my watermelonhearts business cards, which has the line “art with heart” on it, with my contact details. The next time I heard from them, they also sent me an invitation to be a part of their upcoming exhibition “Art for the Heart”. Love the synchronicity of that!
So this weekend, I am, along with my sisters, Martha, Lou and Paula, exhibiting our art in the “Art for the Heart” exhibition at Yarra Gallery in Federation Square in Melbourne. I am so happy that all four of us are in it together. It’s open this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Nov 15, 16, 17, from 10 am to 6 pm daiily) so all of you Melbournites please feel free to attend. And say a few prayers for some sales! All proceeds go to Beyond Blue, so it is a great cause.
The theme is ‘Love, Loss and Hope’, so I have entered “Life is a Tapestry”, the book I made last year after losing Martha, “Finding Joy”, a print of my first painting, “Martha’s Garden, and another print called “Beyond the Pink Gate” which describes how I feel that those who have passed away are just on the other side of the pink gate, listening and watching over all of us on this side of the fence.
I have framed three of Lou’s poems and photos. Martha will be exhibiting prints of her paintings, “Femininity” (shown here before) and “Love Conquers All” and the multi talented Paula has two works, a drawing of Martha called “Grieving Martha” and a poem, “Wake up to yourself”.
It is so good to be writing and thinking about something other than my bosoms! Hope you like the art…
In the language of flowers (clockwise from bottom left):
– Nasturtium – love conquers all
– Forget me not – hope, true love, remembrance
– Ivy – friendship, affection
– Hydrangea – perseverance, thank you for understanding
– Daffodil – faith, honesty, truth, respect
– Jasmine – cheerfulness, grace, elegance
– Gardenia – joy, purity
– Iris – wisdom, beauty
– Poppy – loyalty, faith, remembrance
– Daisy – purity, simplicity, innocence
– Tulip – perfect happiness
– Delphinium – open heart
– Buttercup – cheerfulness, innocence
– Xeranthemum – eternity, immortality
– Morning glory – love, affection
– Edelweiss – courage
– Lotus – mystery, truth