Dear Santa

It’s been a rough year. The death toll is staggering… more friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances have departed than I can count on three hands. I cried too many and too often silent tears, lost myself in bottles, sought comfort and love in warm brown arms, then sunk my bare feet into the muddy waters of reality until my toes found solid ground on the south side of Youngstown.

So, may I have some paints please? Oh pretty please, dear Santa?

Here’s a link to my wish list at Dick Blick as I’m a bit particular when it comes to art supplies.  I also added a full set of pencils, as one should always dream big when dreaming out loud.

Odds are that I shall find the equivalent of another lump of coal in my Christmas stocking, if the jolly old elf bothers to stop by here at all. The children have noticed, they already know… they say grandma’s a bad girl, that’s why Santa doesn’t bring her anything.

~

Truth be told, I am a bit scared. My appointment with the retinal specialist is today. What if the sight cannot be restored? Depression is already swirling, will I sink into a deep abyss? Paints could save me… art is therapy, I could paint with one eye, fine line details not required.

journey

I do so want to paint again…  I quit when I first became disabled, took up pencils because the medium was dry and I could draw little pictures with minimal body movements while stuck in a chair for endless hours. I still cannot stand at an easel, but paints could be next on my artistic journey.

I could always express emotions in paint, much more freely than with pencils… let the brushes take me where they want to go. Like in this painting below, my 3rd of 1998…

20161202_094616

It is actually two paintings in one… the left side was painting out an emotional storm, then my thoughts turned to a man I barely knew in 1998, an elusive artist with unknown entanglements. I did not know what had him so bogged down back then, but I could feel it. It’s a bad portrait… beard too thick, &c.

I’ve been hanging art… can’t hang that one, still mourning the loss of our friendship, and with every painting comes the urge to paint again.

The wish list of art supplies is just words to the wind… come January, I will slowly start ordering what I need. Thanks for reading! And wish me luck today.

Dark Days

“Cold hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colours from our sight,
Red is grey and yellow white,
But we decide which is right,
and which is an illusion.”

Quote is from the poem “Late Lament” by Graeme Edge, drummer of the Moody Blues. 

~

That little stroke stole the light, removed colours from my sight. I am, hopefully just temporarily, blind in my right eye. There are some other weird things going on, like spatial relationship issues and I’m still dealing with a sprained lateral collateral ligament in my right knee, but to see nothing but a black sky from that eye, dotted with tiny twinkling specks like very distant stars, really messes me up. I’m a visual artist… I play with color interactions, I need to see with both eyes.

The sight came back, not 100% but it cleared up enough within the first 24 hours so it was like looking out through a frosted windshield on a cold wintry morn. There was like some cool crystallization patterns that I could see through, and patchy areas of pale gray clouds. Then, while I was in hospital, dark clouds blocked most of my sight for awhile and then slowly faded back to how it was. Clouds would come and go.

That’s why I wasn’t so alarmed when it blacked out again on Saturday. Now, here it is Monday and that eye is still blind.

I have an appointment with a retinal specialist on the 5th, so maybe he can fix it. Also have appointments with other docs… still need MRI of head, neck, and brain and some kind of echo done on my heart. They let me out of the hospital before tests were complete due to the holiday weekend, made me promise to follow up, get it done via out-patient ASAP.

Here’s an “at home” selfie snapped on Sunday… looks a little better than the hospital version, still a la natural (no makeup) but oh well… just posting to say, “See? I”m okay… still here.”

wp-1480286882806.jpg

Please do not think that I am in a whiny mood… I am acutely aware of how lucky I am as strokes can steal a hell of a lot more than the sight from one eye. This experience also made me acutely aware that next time, I might not be so lucky. If I want to continue breathing on this planet, I need to make some serious life changes, follow through on the usual request from docs: quit smoking, lose weight, take pills, &c.

~

Damn this harvest year.

As I was writing this, I got a text to let me know that an old Italian guy that I always enjoyed talking to at the apartment building has died. They found his body today. Not the Italian guy I call old goat… he is too stubborn to die. This one put me in mind of an old school mafia dude, with a little smile like he was secretly amused, always watching and paying attention to everything. I think he respected me as one of the few people who never hit him up for cash.  I should go light a candle for him.

~

If you love someone, tell them.
Life is temporary.

Thanksgiving in a Harvest Year

I’m blogging by phone, typing precariously with one finger as I lay in the stroke unit of St. E’s hospital with an IV stuck into my elbow. It is a soft, flexible needle, but it tends to jab when I bend the arm too much.

It was only a wee little stroke… happened Monday night while I was doing dishes. I kind of knew it, but didn’t want to… only symptom was a sudden loss of vision in my right eye. That could just be an eye problem, right? So, I went to the eye doc on Tuesday. She examined my eyes and told me to go straight to the ER. So that’s how I ended up here, still in the hospital stroke unit, on Thanksgiving Day.

My sister Jai reminded me of a family saying while texting to say I love you, “if you make it past thanksgiving, you get a whole another year” which may sound a bit morbid, but a lot of our relatives tend to die before the holidays. My grandma Goldie and her mother both died right on Thanksgiving Days.

I told Jai not to worry… I have absolutely no intention of staging a grand exit this year. And who knows? Maybe being right here, with the blood thinners and all, will prevent my untimely demise. All I’ve got to do is make it through today… and the same goes for everyone else… survive today and be okay. Thanks for reading!