Sunday, September 4, 2016

Art Makes Me Stronger

On Friday night I found myself at the Workers Arts and Heritage Center for a concert.  The band was Sandcatchers which was described as "Jewish tradition & Maqam on the Appalachian Trail."  I wasn't sure what to expect, but i knew that it would be good, because everything that Zula presents, a local music organization is of highest quality.  This night was exceptional.  

It was a beautiful warm night, and the concert was in the backyard of the Center, which I had only ever seen through a window, never experienced. It was perfect.  The band, four lovelies musicians nestled under the trees playing such original, honest songs warmed my heart.  The audience consisted mostly of friends and my six year old son and husband.  As I sat listening, I would tilt my head back just so slightly and look at the stars.  It was rather magical indeed.  As Max started to get antsy we went behind the chairs and danced barefoot in the grass.  If felt so good to just move.  Since my surgery in July, I haven't been able to dance the way I used to, as it would cause discomfort and pain.  But on Friday night, with that music, surrounded by those people I was able to dance.  I wasn't jumping up and down, but I moved my body in it's new way and that made me so very happy. 

I have been off of work for two months now, and on Tuesday I will go back to the bookstore and I am getting ready for a craft show in September.  I am healed from the surgery and I am waiting to find out the dates for my treatments which will most probably start in October.  I am trying to get healthy and strong before the treatment knocks the wind out of me.  I am doing the usual things of eating healthier foods, doing more exercise, sleeping well and surrounding myself with positivity and love.  

The other thing I am doing is I am taking in a lot of art.  Be it this concert, or watching films, seeing dance, or reading books, I am letting myself make art a priority and be part of my healing.  Art does something nothing else does.  It relaxes me, it makes me feel and it transcends the daily grind.  It takes me away from my thoughts of sickness and cancer.  It makes me forget about chemotherapy and tamoxifen and radiation and all that. It makes me feel alive. 

Truth be told that making art has become a struggle since I was diagnosed, but I am still showing up at the table and trying to make.  Fingers crossed it will all work out, but in the meantime, I look forward to a few weeks of music, film,  theatre, dance and visual art to give me some strength to go into this unknown, scary time of treatment.  

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