It’s been ages since I last posted. My paintings are still on the walls. The last two weeks have been busy with doctors. The last time I saw the neurologist, Dr Gaska (one of Dr. Lang’s assistants) I felt bullied and they badgered me about my refusal to take anti anxiety medication. This visit was completely different. I went prepared; I gave Dr. Gaska a gift of my hand painted greeting cards which she appreciated very much. She was also amazed at how much I had improved since the last visit. I have managed to reduce the Sinamet from six tablets down to two. When Dr. Lang joined Dr. Gaska he too was very impressed and said I was managing my illness well. The following week I saw Dr. Zurowsky, the neuropsychiatrist. He said my progress was stupendous. He suggested that I try to wean myself off the Lorazapam. He thinks I don’t have to be on it any longer so long as I do it slowly.
I am continuing to work with clients on Skype or on the telephone and this brings me great joy. I am feeling much stronger and eating and sleeping better, however I am still plagued by anxiety.
I’m still continuing to paint and am also exploring pastels.
Thanks to all my friends and family for your loving kindness and support.
Lots of love,
p.s. here are some of my latest paintings.
I want to thank all those who helped me launch my very first Art Show.
Firstly, I want to thank the Divine for supporting my body and enabling me to enjoy and participate in the Rolling Hills Studio Tour.
About 50 – 60 people came through our doors. Seeing my pictures framed on my walls gives me great pleasure.
Special thanks goes to Lucya Almeida for suggesting that I exhibit and believing in me. She and Sandra McGregor helped me select the best paintings. Thanks to Julia Harris for giving me my first lessons in watercolour and in accompanying me to the framers. We chose simple white matts and light wood frames.
My darling sister arrived from London, England on May 1st. She helped me sort and label the many cards, bookmarks, tags and envelopes.
I also want to thank my caregivers Anita, Colleen and Cathy who each helped in their own way.
I want to thank Brent, Lucy and Stella for putting up with my mess. Thanks to Tara McDunnough for introducing me to Gelli printing and Bonny Anthony for teaching me to make the little gift boxes.
Finally to all of you who came, I thank you.
The show was more successful than I could have hoped for. A board member from the Lindsay Art Gallery invited me to who my work there.
I still have lots of cards and paintings and will keep the paintings up for another couple of weeks, so it’s not too late to come and view them.
P.s. Here is a picture of my sister and I, sitting in the ‘exhibition room’. And two new paintings.
The last two weeks have been especially challenging. I came down with a bad cold and I am still recovering from it. It started in my chest and worked itself up to my head and it is still lingering. I had to postpone my appointment with the neurologist. I also have been trying to wean off the Sinamet by replacing it with a natural form of leva-dopa. The result was that I had too much leva- dopa in my system which gave me dyskinesia and put a lot of stress on my body, making me very anxious. On a more positive note I went to pick up my paintings from the framer and am thrilled with how they look. They are already hanging in the dining and living rooms. I do hope some of you will be able to come to the show. In addition to the gift cards I have been making matching boxes made out of the ‘gelli’ prints. My girlfriend, Bonnie, taught me how to make little treasure boxes to place some of the cards in. So there is something for everyone, bookmarks, cards, tags, and paintings in all sizes. Here are two of my most recent paintings and 3 cards.
It’s been ages since I last wrote. Part of the reason is that I’ve been having a really hard time. I was doing really well but then Life became very challenging because I was trying to ween myself off Sinamet and it was not going too well. I was experiencing terrible dyskinesia which suggests that I had too much liva dopa. I was completely out of balance. I’m working with a pharmacist, Chakeeb, who also knows natural supplements and botanicals. His name means patience. A quality I sorely need. The Mukona Impuriens that I was taking was stronger than the previous brand. I had to ween off it. I’ve reduced the Sinamet by 1 1/2 pills. Now I am waiting for a new supply of mukona impuriens to arrive, and we’ll try again.
Thanks to the marijuana oil I’m sleeping much better, but free floating anxiety is still an issue.
Last week I had 3 excellent days. I met up with my friend Julia to get my pictures framed for my first art show. See the invitation below by clicking on it. The show is part of the Rolling Hills Studio Tour. I hope you can come.
I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. In Feb 2012, I became very ill, anxious, sleepless and depressed – I wanted to die, but I didn’t want to die in that mental state. I shed many, many tears. At some point on my journey I began to take up painting again and found it healing. I felt inspired by nature and her beautiful colours. I felt cheered. Recently, I came across Chogyam Trungpa’s book SHAMBHALA, The Sacred Path of the Warrior, and his words resonated profoundly with my experience. Then I knew for sure I was on the right path because almost everything Trungpa wrote concurred with my experience.
QUOTATIONS taken from the writings of Chogyam Trungpa
“The Shambhala teachings are founded on the premise that there IS basic human wisdom that can help to solve the world’s problems. This wisdom does not belong to any one culture or religion, nor does it come only from the West or the East. Rather, it is a tradition of human warriorship that has existed in many cultures at many times throughout history.”
“In Tibet, as well as many other Asian countries, there are stories about a legendary kingdom that was a source of learning and culture for present day Asian societies. According to the legends, this was a place of peace and prosperity, governed by wise and compassionate rulers. The citizens were equally kind and learned so that, in general, the kingdom was a model society. This place was called Shambhala….
Warriorhip here does not refer to making war on others. Aggression is the source of our problems, not the solution. Here the word “warrior” is taken from the Tibetan pawo, which literally means “one who is brave”. Warriorship in this context is the tradition of human bravery, or the tradition of fearlessness…
The key to warriorship and the first principle of Shambhala vision is not being afraid of who you are. Ultimately, that is the definition of bravery: not being afraid of yourself. Shambhala vision teaches that, in the face of the world’s great problems, we can be heroic and kind at the same time. Shambhala vision is the opposite of selfishness….”
When I’m feeling ill and experiencing pain, I feel completely self-absorbed and self-centred. I cannot feel my inner warrior, only my victim. So, to begin with, Trungpa suggests that “ we should make an effort to examine our own experience in order to see what it contains that is of value in helping ourselves and others to uplift their existence.
“If we are willing to take an unbiased look, we will find that, in spite of all our problems and confusion, all our emotional and psychological ups ad downs, there is something basically good about our existence as human beings. Unless we can discover that ground of goodness in our own lives, we cannot hope to improve the lives of others. If we are simply miserable wretched beings, how can we possibly imagine, let alone realize, an enlightened society?”
This was/is my challenge.
“Discovering real goodness comes from appreciating very simple experiences…We are speaking here of the basic goodness of being alive- which does not depend on our accomplishments or fulfilling our desires. We experience glimpses of goodness all the time, but we often fail to acknowledge them. When we see a bright color, we are witnessing our own inherent goodness. When we hear a beautiful sound, we are hearing our own basic goodness. When we step out of the shower, we feel fresh and clean, and when we walk out of a stuffy room, we appreciate the sudden whiff of fresh air. These events may take a fraction of a second, but they are real experiences of goodness. They happen to us all the time, but usually we ignore them as mundane or purely coincidental. According to the Shambhala principles, however, it is worthwhile to recognize and take advantage of those moments, because they are revealing basic nonaggression and freshness in our lives – basic goodness.
Every human being has a basic nature of goodness, which is undiluted and unconfused. That goodness contains tremendous gentleness and appreciation. As human beings, we can make love. We can stroke someone with a gentle touch; we can kiss someone with gentle understanding. We can appreciate beauty. We can appreciate its vividness; the yellowness of yellow, the redness of red, the greenness of green, the purpleness of purple. Our experience is real. When yellow is yellow, can we say it is red, if we don’t like the yellowness of it? That would be contradicting reality. …. We can cure ourselves of depression if we recognize that the world we have is good, but it is good because we can experience its goodness…The human potential for intelligence and dignity is attuned to experiencing the brilliance of the bright blue sky, the freshness of green fields, and the beauty of the trees and mountains. We have an actual connection to reality that can wake us up and make us feel basically, fundamentally good. Shambhala vision is tuning in to our ability to wake ourselves up and recognize that goodness can happen to us. In fact, it is happening already.”
It is my hope that my paintings and cards will atune you to your basic goodness.
The archetype of the spiritual warrior has shown up elsewhere in my life.
Interestingly, synchronistically, I drew the rune Teiwaz, The Spiritual Warrior.” Patience is the virtue of this Rune, and it recalls the words of St. Augustine that the reward of patience is patience.
The molding of character is at issue when you draw Teiwaz. We are asked to look within and delve down to the foundations of life itself. Only in so doing can we hope to meret the deepest needs of our nature and tap into our most profound resources. We have to learn to align the self with the Self.
This is what my illness is teaching me.
Blessings to you all.
P.S. Hope you like these paintings and that they cheer you up.
Here is a brief update on how I’m doing.
I am a lot better than I was. I’m driving again. I’m much stronger and am able to do a grocery shop. Yesterday I was on my own from 3 in the afternoon and all through the evening. So, anxiety is much better. I have taken on my first client. It’s great to be working again.
I’m very busy making envelopes for all the cards that I have made. It’s a bit of a daunting task, but slowly they are getting done. I’m planning an exhibition in May. It will be held at Lucy’s Studio in Toronto. I’ll also be part of the studio tour in Bethany over the Mother’s Day weekend. There’s lots to do.
Sleep is still a hit and miss affair. Sometimes I get four hours and sometimes eight. Today I only had 4 hours. When I can’t sleep, I pray, listen to music and see what awareness this sleeplessness is bringing me.
I’m gradually cutting down on the sinamet because I’ve found another natural source of liva-dopa.
I was very bloated and today, and very tired, out of sorts. This bloated feeling makes me lose my appetite.
My spirit has definitely been more positive. I’m learning more and more that I am held in the arms of Love.
I’ve been listening to Michael Stillwater’s Graceful Passages. It is a wonderful cd. I thank Walter Sienko for introducing it to me.
Love and blessings to you all. Thank you for keeping me in your prayers and for all the kindness you express both to me and to all with whom you are in relationship.