My current piece is called Growing Pains. I started this as the first piece of three that will represent prayers for my immediate family. My daughter Antonella has been suffering from terrible leg pains that sometimes wake her up in the middle of the night crying and looking for me to save her. I feel so helpless because there is nothing I can do to help her. I sit with her, sometimes into the wee hours of the morning, holding her and applying heat to her legs until the pain subsides and we can both sleep.
This piece has been as difficult for me as those nights are for us. I have torn the background out twice. Torn the top side off once and cut my forefinger and thumb on glass while working on this. I have felt frustration and helplessness. I have wondered if I should just give up or start over all together.
But in life we don’t get to give up or start over. We must take stock of what we have and try to work with the materials of our lives to create something better. We can decide what we don’t like or what doesn’t serve us and identify the parts of our lives that we honor and protect.
So I am keeping the yellow hand (that is the outline of Antonella’s actual hand). Yellow is her favorite color. I am keeping the sides and top, which are rich and beautiful just like her. I finished scraping off the background today so that I can begin anew tomorrow. I realized that I don’t need to try so hard, that it doesn’t need to be complicated. I can keep it simple, and it can still be important and special.
I have felt like I am going backwards these past few days because there are some other pieces I have had to tear apart. But today I am going to remember that if I am tearing things apart to make them better, that is a progressive action moving me forward toward my goals.