thank you elders

October 20, 2012  •  43 Comments

The world is so alive right now. My eyes are involuntarily wide open, and it is overwhelming like daydreaming on the shoreline at the beach and shockingly being pulled in by a crashing wave that invigorates the soul and has one out to sea fighting the currents trying to get back to shore. I am going through a seperation with my ex-partner Helen, and this human experience brings loss, pain, trauma. I am doing the best I can, and find inspiration in the words of thinkers like the philosopher Epicurus who said 'There is no dishonor in pain...pain is neither intolerable or everlasting if thoust (he/she) bears in mind that it has limits and if thoust (he/she) adds nothing to it in imagination'. And so I finish teaching my art with elders class as usual today, and say goodbye to the 4 students as always, but one person (I will call her 'X' out of respect) puts her arms in the air and gives an invisible hug. I give back. "aww X you're so sweet'... I can't resist so I give a physical hug and she breaks down in loud tears. Whats interesting is that she has the condition of dimensia where I have to re-introduce myself weekly because short term memory and much long term no longer exists. I don't think she realizes who was even giving her a hug, but the emotion remains. The loss... She begs me to not leave, and I comfort her by promising to come back. "In a week X, in a week". She believes me (and its true)  and the terror leaves. I did this drawing of her prior to this, where she was dozing in and out of sleep. The human experience is vast and beautiful. I have found myself closed to it in certain major aspects as a result of dysfunction of typical routine for a recent while.  I am fortunate to work in communion with elders that bring knowledge of the paths near end, giving perspective to seemingly traumatic times like divorce. There is always the urge to find comfort in a situation, labeling aspects good and bad.. but I feel its neither. Its life, and life is good. Even when it hurts most. student sketch, color pencil on paper, 2012


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