Letter of Courage #8 – A series of drawings

I began this series of drawings in 2007, after several years of not drawing or painting, the longest I had gone since I first started. Drawing and painting have been other mediums of expression, walls to bounce off of when video or writing or photography wasn’t quite the medium to capture what I was trying to share.

The last year has been such a challenge physically, as the doctors work excruciatingly slow, and sometimes, not at all, to figure out whether an initial diagnosis in October of 2008 of RSD, a rare nerve disease, was correct. The process has been terribly eye opening as I passed through the health care system that seems structurally compromised, a weight bearing on me as a patient that I had never in a million years expected. The physical pain was exacerbated by the pain of having a rare condition that not many understand in a system intended for diseases that can be cataloged and billed out. Without much health insurance, and no disability insurance, I have had to manage healing as best I could. Its a journey that has required self-examination of health habits in myself, and adopting any new habit that can help in the healing process.

The healing of my spirit from the injury when the needle hit my nerve was another journey. Drawing became my tool, a way for me to distract my mind from the high pain levels I was experiencing. A drawing often took a week or more, with me adding a bit here and there when I felt well enough. Every time I sat at the table, I’d open up my drawing book, an outlet for me to distract from the crippling, burning pain in my legs, and arms. I believe the drawings, which I see now as possible initial sketches for future paintings, has been a salve in the recovery process.

I share them now with the hope they can be curative or healing for others who experience RSD or any chronic pain issues or who are moved in any way by the images.

I want to thank Xavier Quijas Yxayotl for use of the song Music for The Full Moon, from his CD Pearl Moon. Xavier is an inspiration for me, after several meetings at events, I have come to admire Xavier’s music and the hard work he and his wife, Candace, put into sharing music for the people with the people.

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