Pain has been a part of my daily life for so long that I can barely remember what it was like not to hurt. Having lived with a condition that causes severe chronic pain for over 16 years, pain is part of the landscape of my life. I don't want it, I would never chose it- it just is. It is as present in the integrated experience of my humanity as is the vision that comes through my eyes and the sounds that enter my ears.
Some nights are so hard that it takes my breath away. These are the times to hold on the truth that not every moment is as challenging as this one. And to remember that beauty and good always are part of life, even on the hard days. That is where art comes into the picture for me. I'm not a traditional artist. I rarely paint or draw or sew or knit. I don't collect cans and turn them into creative collages. Instead my art is in discovering, finding, and reveling in the natural beauty of our amazing world. The earth is my canvas.
My goal is to seek out beauty and good as much as I can in life- I think that is one of the gifts that can be found in living inside a body that is so intimately acquainted with pain. I hope also that it opens my mind and heart to an awareness of and compassion for the pain and struggles of others. And reminding myself that beauty co-exists with the pain helps my spirit grasp onto gratitude.