Ever since graduate school, I have done work about genetics. Our connection to our ancestors, to future generations, seep deep in our veins. They are found in likenesses, the color of our eyes, hair, skin...and they are found in our mutations. I know that my genes carry the BRCA1 mutation and my work reflects life after finding out. Our bloodlines are our footprint, our legacy, and they tell our stories. Finding out mine, allowed me to rewrite my history and preempt future disease. I was both lucky and scared all at once.
When I got the call yesterday that my dear friend was not doing well from breast cancer that spread to her brain, the familiar pit in my stomach seeped down deep. Too much loss from a disease that pink ribbons seem to have minimized. How do we fail to find a cure? It seems like everywhere we raise money, we raise awareness, and still the cells are determined to beat the chemo, taking too many amazing mothers, daughters, sisters and friends. We need to change this!
If I seem bitter and mad...it's because I am!
What does 36 years of marriage mean? It was time, love, and work. There were ups and downs, like all marriages. There were blended families, which sometimes worked, and sometimes not. It's hard to comprehend in times of loss, the pain of separation too unbearable. Sometimes, it just doesn't make sense.
As my sister and I spiral with the loss of our mom, we try to make sense of how breast and ovarian cancer has wreaked havoc on our lives yet again. We all feel like it doesn't make sense and how does anything matter when cancer can take it all away. All I can say is that the only thing that matters is the love we shared will continue between all of us that miss and loved her.
How do you cope with loss? I think I deal with the loss of my own mom by connection to art and connection to others. Share your story...mine can be seen in Holding On Series...
Holding On is the collaboration between those who loved my mom as intensely as me and myself as I frantically photographed each of us holding her hands. WE all wanted to feel her warmth, the softness of her skin, her touch, as long as we could, as expressions of love. Can the series even do justice to the relationship. I recently showed a friend in Austalia the series and she began to cry....it was a highlight. Strange as it seems, but if my work can move someone to feel that sense of love and loss, then I feel successful.
AS I SIT LOOKING OUT OVER THE SYDNEY HARBOR, SO FAR AWAY FROM HOME. I THINK ABOUT HOW TO START THIS CONVERSATION. SO HERE GOES....HOW DOES ART HAVE THE POWER TO HEAL? I BELIEVE THAT IS DOES ON A PERSONAL LEVEL AS WELL AS A UNIVERSAL ONE. I JUST HOPE THAT THIS BLOG WILL HELP THOSE OF US WITH A MISSION TO COMMUNICATE, FIND ONE ANOTHER. PLEASE JOIN MY CONVERSATION AS WE DELVE INTO ART AND HEALING!