Today is the first great day since my skin reconstruction surgery taking place eight days ago. I woke up at 10:30 in the morning, rested and rejuvenated, after a night virgin of pain killer. Do I remember the last time I woke up so late? Probably a good while prior to the birth of my two-year-old.
And then I had a cup of coffee, and I made art!
I own a huge, hand-made Peruvian platter, glazed in earthy browns and lively grays. It’s my favorite of all the wedding gifts we’ve received some seven years ago. It lives on the dining room table. There’s really no other place for it because it’s so big, and round, and prominent. Usually we have a vase with flowers that stands on top of the platter. I love having flowers in the house; whether in the bedrooms, on the altars, and of course in the living room.
Several days after my surgery two of my coworkers sent me a beautiful bouquet of gentle, peach-colored roses, and orange, fiery tulips expressing wishes of swift recovery. The flowers looked magnificent. In a sophisticated glass vase atop the Peruvian platter, the proud flowers were glowing like embers in the Spring light coming through the victorian bay window. But, as a result of the medical interventions, I was completely spent, both emotionally and physically. I wasn’t able to witness this beauty. In my hazy cycle of pain and sleep and an occasional limp around the house, the bouquet was nothing more than a muted blur. “Was there anything on the dining room table? Flowers? Really? How nice,” incoherent I blurbed, with eyelids closing against my will.
The time came to throw away the bouquet. My best friend — who came in from Texas two nights ago to help my husband taking care of me, the baby, and our two mischievous yorkies — has decided the flowers are done. And as she picked up the fading bunch, the tulips shook their embery heads dropping most of their petals onto the Peruvian platter in a pattern most beautiful. She left this pettaly dish for me to wake up to.
As I sipped my morning coffee — amazed at how late I woke up and telling about it to my friend —I looked to the right, and through the kitchen doorway. In front of me was the dining room table. Over heavy dark wood, on top an Indian tablecloth with turquoise and yellow trim, I saw the Peruvian platter bearing petals glowing like countless morning suns.
I stopped talking. I took a deep breath. I smiled. Then I brought several tarot decks, a few props, and a camera. I had a mission. I felt my being pulsating with life.
Playing with petals, arranging and rearranging the cards, I spent several hours taking pictures and basking in the healing light of spring’s creation. I was rejuvenated, and able, and full of ideas and desires. It’s funny how an illness can get you feeling used, and empty, and covered with dust. But then, without a warning, inspiration strikes. Suddenly one is capable lifting herself out of a sticky web of medical tape and thick vapors of pharmaceuticals, and up into the silver promise of crisp possibility.
Art is a powerful healer. Her medicine is in the act of doing. With Her time flies; wrapped into petals and cards and purpose that unfolds over Peruvian platters. She reminds me that I matter, and I am alive. She helps to forget the pain of uprooted skin, and reminds me to be compassionate because it’s working so hard to fuse with new planes for which it wasn’t originally intended. She proves that though only a few, but I have friends and dear ones that care for me deeply. And they too can look onto a pile of petals on a platter — which are uprooted from their stems yet still beautiful — and together we can bond partaking in the glow of Art’s medicine.