Sunday, May 30, 2010

Orange!


Maybe it's a visual reaction to the year's color turquoise but I don't think so - my whole being is craving orange!

It doesn't matter where I go. At the greenhouse I was trolling the foliage-lined isles looking for orange in all it's shades. I managed to find a lovely carnation in a knocked back shade of orange, with a most beautiful scent but a true-blue orange I could not find.

Later in the week I was at my grocery store and on my way out - there it was! The ORANGE! I believe it's a hibiscus and the shade of orange with the sunlight illuminating it's fragile petals creates a luminescent orange of heavenly beauty.

Of course now I have to paint orange. But how? Well I am working on what is turning out to be an abstract of sorts, in acrylic, many layers, many values of orange and hues. I will post it as soon as it is done. However, now blues and turquoise must be expressed as they are the natural complement of orange. This whole creation will either be a diptych or triptych, we will see : )

I have decided to stop trying to control the process, to get out of the way and just be the midwife to the creations, to support them as they come into being. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 12th National FM/CFS and ME day and Frida Kahlo

This oil painting of Frida Kahlo by Frida Kahlo titled "Broken Column" visually displays some of what it feels like to have these illnesses. It is postulated that she suffered from both Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia brought on by the horrific vehicle accident she had been involved in her earlier years. She suffered with horrific pain and crushing fatigue for the rest of her life. Here is a thoughtful and interesting write up on Ms. Kahlo her art and FM/CFS http://www.myalgia.com/Frida%20article%20by%20Lavin.html

The definition of ME/CFS from the National ME/FM Action Network website is that it is "an acquired illness that affects all body systems; predominantly the neurological, endocrine and immune systems. It can be severely debilitating." This means that almost all the body's systems and functions are affected in the forms of severe and disabling fatigue/exhaustion, severe disruption of the circadian rhythm causing long-term disabling insomnia, wide-spread body unrelenting body pain, chronic allergies (some times life-threatening) to food, medications, chemicals and environmental agents, irritable bowel, irritable bladder and urethral syndrome, dizziness, tinnitis, blurred vision, sensitivity to light and sound, inexplicable rashes and hives, severe post-exertional malaise which means that for most people when they exercise they recover after a brief rest and feel energized afterwards whereas for those with M.E and CFS they do not and, in fact, it increases their pain and fatigue. This is the shortened list of symptoms and effects of the illness. There is no cure and the cause(s) are unknown but the FM/CFS/ME has been known to develop after a car accident and/or trauma, post viral infection, long unrelenting stress and in the latest research in a controlled study the retrovirus (XMRV) has been found in a high proportion of those with CFS (over two thirds) and under 3% in the healthy subjects. It's interesting to note that as a result of this study the Canadian Blood Services has banned anyone with CFS from giving blood. This illustrates the fear that a viral contagion may be involved. The story can be found here
http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/04/07/blood-donations-chronic-fatigue-virus.html

These combined illnesses are still being studied and the evidence is mounting but, unfortunately, a  large number or medical professionals are either unaware of or blatantly hostile to the fact that these illnesses are not "all in your head". Since a disproportionate number of women seem to be affected it shows the unenlightened bias that medicine still holds against females with illnesses that they do not understand. God help the men who are afflicted as they are seen as lazy and malingerers. There are some doctors, however, who DO believe that these illnesses exist and, in fact, either do ongoing research into the origins of the illness and/or dedicate themselves to helping alleviate some of the misery that those afflicted with CFS, ME, and FM go through. Suicide is sometimes the only release and has been documented. THAT is how BAD these illnesses can be and are. 

So today, I just wanted to share with you the reality of many millions of people in North America. Maybe you or a loved one you know has been diagnosed with these conditions? We are still in the dark ages with these illnesses. In time more and more things will be found to shed light on what the origins of these illnesses are and how they can be corrected. Until then we have to fight just to have them understood, BELIEVED and acted on. Remember, doctors thought it was ridiculous that bed fever was carried from delivering mother to delivering mother via their bacterial-infested hands. The doctor that figured that hand-washing could stop the infecting of and killing of these mothers was met with hostility and mocking ostracization by the medical majority of his times. Turns out, he was right, they were wrong and many died as a result of the this willful ignorance and arrogance.

The same thing shall be found with these illnesses and, unfortunately, it will be too late for those who have suffered the not only the negative repercussions of the disease itself but also the hostility and contempt of the unbelievers, sadly family, friends and the medical profession which has bee sworn to help the ill. It brings immense physical, emotional, financial, spiritual and psychological stress upon the individual who bares this illness.

So today I bring to you this information that you may know that such a thing exists and that, it is real. May we lessen the burden by understanding if we can not yet have a cure.

Thank you for taking some of your precious time and energy to read this. May we all be well.