Things hold

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First, let me start by saying that everyone in my family is currently perfectly healthy.

However, last week I had a mammogram that came up with some suspicious findings. I have a serious family history of breast cancer, so it’s a little extra interesting when that happens.

Then my husband’s grandfather died and he suddenly had to leave for the funeral in…Dallas. Of all places.

And just as he prepared to leave, my daughter developed her first ever stomach flu, which she described as being like “water fell out of my butt.”

I don’t normally feel the need to describe the exact nature of my kid’s bowel movements, but as all these things were happening, as well as the crazy things in the larger world, I found some solace in laughing at how ridiculously out of control it was.

Then I also got to laugh at this strange piece of artwork:

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I suppose this says, “If you find yourself standing at the door in a strange position like a mannequin, don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal.”

Thankfully, in the end my biopsy came up normal, and eventually my daughter’s stomach got back in order. (And of course my husband returned from Dallas too!)

In the aftermath, I decided some methodical work would be good medicine for all this crazy, so I focused on getting these new canvases ready.

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As I worked, I thought about how my biopsy wasn’t the real peering over the cliff experience that others I know have experienced (or are experiencing). It was more like…a reminder that the edge of the cliff is really there.

But it still gave me that renewed sense of appreciation for the things of real value in my life: my family, my friends, my work.

I do truly love my work, and what a blessing that is.

It blew away any anxiety or hesitation I had and left me just thankful. So I had no trouble getting into the hard part of stringing these new pieces.

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I also worked on new Cultivate pieces and tested adding a little color.

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And I got this beautiful stuff, a type of acrylic ink, to test too.

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As I thought about the new series and how to describe what it means to people, I felt at a loss and wished I could just take other people’s words and splice them together to create the series statement. With that in mind, I pulled out this book of poetry by Lucille Clifton, and after getting caught up again in some of her work that I love (Island Mary and many others still blow me away), I was a little stunned to read this:

Things don’t fall apart. Things hold. Lines connect in thin ways that last and last and lives become generations made out of pictures and words just kept.

Well, yes. That’s it exactly.

And somehow it not only describes what is underneath my creating all of these series with people on one level with a landscape of almost infinite connection behind them, but it also made me feel…realigned about current events.

Things hold. They really do.

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