American Women
The Book of Strange New Things

My ears haven’t been working all week. I feel like an old lady, asking the kids to repeat themselves four or five times. I went to the Dr, on Friday, but he says it’s temporary, my eardrums are recessed due to blocked sinuses. He wrote me a prescription, but advised it was best to just let them heal on their own or with the help of a decongestant. I’ve never been so deaf before—It’s uncomfortable, strange, and the closest I’ve had to a real disability. It makes me thankful for the gift of hearing, that I’d surely taken for granted before. Also, it’s slowed me down, helped me to listen better…partly because I have to work at it.

One thing it’s allowed me to listen to is my inner voice, which has been urging me to paint, paint, paint. I had an idea a few weeks ago that I’ve been running with, starting with a portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt over the New Year weekend. I’ll explain more about that project in another post, perhaps. Another thing grief (and being an artist…or maybe even, human) has taught me is that when things are going well in a certain area, enjoy it, go with it, obey it. You don’t know how long it will last. Just by observing the state of my house this week, one can see that everything else has gone to the back burner as I sit day after day at the table and paint. It’s a therapy that worked for our family during Vernon’s ordeal, why shouldn’t I be painting now? There is no argument.

Here are some paintings on paper that I made for each of us in our family to honor Vernon’s memory. We each have a different symbol that keeps his memory alive in the world for us. I wanted to solidify these things a little more for them (and myself.) Perhaps we will put them up where his portrait used to hang.

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“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”—Vincent Van Gogh

 

 

 

 

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American Women
The Book of Strange New Things