I got very thin last year, certainly not so much as this painting, but it was bad. I had cancer. It was anal squamous cell carcinoma. I'm ok now, infact a little overweight, but I remember the "me" of the time with much tenderness. Months spent in lieing there in pain that medicine couldn't touch, often losing conciousness at the pain, unable to move, and unable to eat. My daily goal was to drink a little water. In exhausted moments, and there were some where there was less pain, daydreaming of painting the memorized ceiling, and meditating to hold on to a degree of sanity, and the quiet that comes with surrender...the acceptance of the respit of death. The "it's going to be ok," I'll rest soon, and the watching of faces of loved ones, whom I didn't want to leave, but "knew" I would, the deepest love for them and compassion at their suffering, they were so beautiful. I had lived a wonderful life afterall, and I was grateful.... In retrospect, there was even a beauty in the fragile state of such horrid illness. Looking at the painting, is at once frightening and heart-rendering. I have the feeling of wanting to pick her up and tell her she'll be ok, that's it ok to let go, and that I love her.
I underwent a major surgery, and did it really for the love of my family, so they'd know I cared enough for them to try, but I didn't expect it to work. I had nothing left to fight with. Months went by, and so slowly I was able to eat again, move without pain and far beyond my understanding, I'm alive.
I had seen people die before, and I had attended their needs and comfort. I have held hands and cried with them, and I've seen the peace that comes before they go. I thought I was strong, but I had never been the one who was dieing, the one who went so far into and beyond pain to absolute serenity.
This is not the first time I've seen the light at the end of the tunnel, and sure as death must come for all of us one day, it won't be my last. Until then, serenity remains, love abounds and I paint.
Acrylic on Canvas