Friday, January 20, 2012

Words to Live by

It's rare that I find written words that reach me. I found this poem while my Dad was battling cancer (it was key to me not losing my mind). It inspired quite a few works from me and helped me to cope with my Father's mortality as well as my own.

The Laughing Heart

Your life is your life
Don't let it be clubbed into dark submission, be on the watch.
There are ways out. There is a light somewhere. It may not be much light, but it beats the darkness.
Be on the watch.
The Gods will offer you chances. Know them. Take them.
You can't beat death, but you can beat death in life sometimes. And the more often you learn to do it, the more light there will be.
Your life is your life.
Know it while you have it.
You are marvelous.
The Gods wait to delight in you.

Charles Bukowski

I painted this picture for my father. I put every positive thought I had into it. This tree, I told him, bore fruit the year before. It's still alive and strong. The winter has set in and is challenging it to live, like winter always does,but I've never known my Dad to be bothered by the cold. I don't know if he even thought about what I said, but this is what I wanted him believe about himself.
 This painting, on the other hand, I poured all my venom into. I'll admit, I had some pretty dark feelings. So for my health and peace of mind, I got them all out. This is actually quite beautiful under a spot light. It has glass beads on it that sparkle and abalone shell that shines. I had it hanging over my bed for a time, while I brooded and hissed. Then I took it down and put it away.
 This is what the painting has become, as my Father and I have healed. There is always renewal and rebirth. A chance to see differently and change . I'm at peace now. We all die and my Dad will die someday, but my feelings for him are forever. I'm so glad that they are represented by golden light and life giving green instead of blackness and shadow.
As I was hanging the finished picture on my wall, I fell off the chair and cut my arm up on the jagged shell pieces. It was a reminder of what misunderstanding and unforgiveness had the potential of doing to me. I'm not going to let poison like that into my relationships ever again. I only have one life, and I mean to live it well. I am Marvelous and the Gods are waiting. 

1 comment:

  1. Pretty neat Jillsy. The art and the stories behind the art. What a way to celebrate a new life, and say good-bye to the old life. I love this whole blog entry so much!