Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Being an Artist with a Disability

Being an Artist with a Disability is not a subject that I share often, if ever. I have lived with disability since I was a young child, so it is as normal to me as the sky is blue. It is not a badge I wear as though I am wounded, but just a simple part that has lended it's hand in the creation of me. Being an amputee, I have looked for the positive things it has brought to my life. It has made me a compassionate person, a person who always looks for the light in others because I know that outward appearances sometimes mask the Divine that resides in each of us.
As I have grown older, other physical impairments resulting in much pain have become prevelant, forcing me to face my limitations and accept them. They have forced me to go deeper into myself to find ways to create beauty in life. I have learned to cherish the moments when  pain does not control me, and to seize those moments, creating pieces of me that will leave my mark in this world. And when those moments happen, life is supreme.
Crow Mother - Art Doll by Jeanne Fry
I sculpt, with these hands that challenge me, to bring to life the things that reside in my heart.
The sharing of my story is not meant to be sad, but to be a reminder to appreciate each moment, to grasp it to its fullest, and to not allow our challenges to change who we are deep in our hearts.

Namaste ~ The Spirit in Me honors the Spirit in You

1 comment:

hanasazi said...

That is so beautiful, and thank you so much for sharing your heart. You've done a great service in helping people understand that living in a "house of pain" isn't the end of a life of quality or meaning. On the contrary, it can be the leg-up that helps one overcome the world. The effort it takes to be patient, kind, and positive is so much more difficult in the house of pain, yet the difficulty prompts one to rise to the challenge out of necessity. When the need to do so isn't made so apparent as it is when one is in constant pain, it often isn't addressed at all - much to the detriment of such a healthy, pain-free, yet spiritually behind-the-curve individual.

When I was a therapeutic horsebackriding instructor I saw miracles of overcoming and the resulting joy happen in individuals trapped not only in pain but a wheelchair. This taught me that more, so much more, is available in this life to the spirit that seeks...and out of the fire of affliction are we called to receive these high blessings.

I hope you don't mind if I post a link to the website of The Studio at Living Opportunities, a non-profit devoted to developmentally disabled artists doing great work in Southern Oregon. This wonderful program cultivates creativity in these individuals and keeps an active exhibit schedule. The results - one of their artists is a national award winner and has a piece hanging in the Smithsonian! I coordinate the art exhibit at the GoodBean in Jacksonville Oregon, and am proud to have 15 works by The Studio's artists hanging there for the month of December.

Thanks again for you very inspiring and heartfelt post.
Aloha - The Divine in me recognizes the Divine in you...