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Creative Spirit Blog June 17, 2022 Life Happens!


Far Travels Mixed Media


When you realize you are mortal you also realize the tremendousness of the future”’ Maria Popova


I have been absent for a while. Life threw me a curve ball and dealing with it has been a challenge. Since some of you have been reading this blog for many years now, I felt I needed to share my story with you and the reason for my absence. What started as a backache in January and was diagnosed several times as spinal stenosis and sciatica, came to be much more serious! The only thing I can say about that painful three-month journey is that if you don’t feel right about what you are being told, don’t be intimidated. We must be proactive in our own health care.


I have known I have spinal stenosis since I was 19. I have had many bouts of sciatica. I knew that that was not what my problem was, even after being told repeated times, by several doctors, that is what you have. I met a few too many arrogant doctors in that 3-month period, who were not willing to listen.


On a Tuesday evening in early April my son took me from a local ER at 9:30 pm to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. I can’t say enough good thing things about the doctors and medical personnel I have met there. From the ER doctor who found the “THING” taking up residence on my spine, to the neurosurgery team who did a laminectomy and removed a piece of the “THING” for study, to the wonderful medical people who are now my Oncology Team, they have been outstanding and open to hearing anything I have to say. As it turned out the “spinal stenosis” I had repeatedly been diagnosed with turned out to be, Aggressive stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s B cell Lymphoma.


My absence has not been by choice. Nor am I planning to quit writing the “Creative Spirit Blog”, I am re grouping! It will be published, not on a regular schedule, but when I have the energy to write, and chemo brain is not invading the space I use to think. When you least expect it, I will show up in your inbox. It is my hope that life will return to normal by the first of next year, however.

For a while my studio was a place that I visited and sat looking and studding the paintings around the room. I drew energy from being in there but did not have the energy to work there. It has taken two rounds of chemo and a lot of nature infused energy / inspiration to get me working again. It is now slow but steady. A little each day. So, look for new work to come.


John Ruskin said “Painting trains the mind’s eye to see more clearly and life with a deeper presence”. Yes, when your world is turned upside down, there is a disconnect of time in your universe. It doesn’t run forward but seems to stop. For a time, you are no longer in control of your life. It has taken a lot of creative energy to rearrange my world and see life with a deeper presence.


The “creative spirit” is helping me come to terms with the changes in my life. Keep creating! Carolyn



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