I don’t know the answer to these questions but I’ve ended up Entering the Belly. Which is the third section from my work Inside the Belly of the Whale. (The first and second sections are also on this blog – Blue Dream and Taking a Long Breath)
I don’t think going to hell is a once in a life time event, I believe that we can return several times in a life time but as Dante Alighieri suggests there are levels.
In each of these stories, the hero is stuck. They may receive divine intervention or just physical motion that gets them out, or they may need to live side by side with the whale, Moby Dick. Each of these options seems to be a paradox.
Acknowledging the pain and hurt that brought me to Inside the Belly of the Whale and out again. Each trip has been my guide.
Her cancer had come back.
She had been cancer free for over five years and now it was everywhere.
I returned home to be with my dying mom.
One day she was turning over in bed and we heard a loud snap – we called the hospice nurse and she suggested taking her into the hospital – we called an ambulance.
She had broken her arm and didn’t even realize it.
I didn’t want to know it at the time, she was very close to death – but I probably did know it
They fixed her arm and sent her home
Then a few days later her breathe was labored
I watched the life drain from her – she became blue.
Her end was my beginning
After she died, I had a series of haunting night dreams, the kind that make you sit up in bed. I was compelled to do something with those images from my dreams.
The series of images I created were blue images and they were one section of a big body of work call Inside the Belly of the Whale
It’s been over 28 years since my mom died, I’ve spent that time thinking, talking, researching, creating, observing and creating artwork. Wondering what is grief, death and life is and how I and we all deal with it all.
There is no escaping the harshness of life.
There’s no escaping the timing
And there’s absolutely no way around the tragedy of living
We all walk around with unresolved grief, loss and trauma
What we do with our pain and how do we hold beauty and the pain of life at the same time?
I’ve come to believe that art inspired by and created from hurt and pain can touch us in ways that we never thought it could. At the same time, such art may make it easier to face and learn to be with our own pain.
The key is learning to sit with your pain and pause. It is difficult to pause and just ponder. Finding the right support for your mind, body and heart can be challenging. But I encourage you to sit with and decide what need.
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