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Mary Beth Lawler Art Blog

Who Am I?

by marybeth , July 4, 2008—05:02 PM

Topics: creative time, healing

A few days ago I caught a glimpse of myself in a store window. I was looking at a stranger, in many ways. I didn't look like myself. Not just the bald head, the expression on the face looking back at me. It was like an out of body experience. So much has happened so fast, sometimes I feel like Dorothy, whipped about in the funnel and unceremoniously dropped in a strange land and having to find her way home. I presumed my art work had all but stopped because I was tired, but now I think my work, my inspiration and motivation have dwindled because they belong to the other me. The "multi tasking, obsessively productive, run, run, run, until you drop" me. She is on retreat somewhere trying to learn yoga and kick caffeine. This me is using up every amount of energy available to defend myself against the radiation assaults and the last few insults from the chemotherapy. This disease has struck a deep blow to my vanity. The things I was most proud of, my long dark hair, my thick eyelashes and yes, my sturdy fingernails, are gone. I know they will grow back but long after I return to my "new old self" again I will always have this image of myself as I am now. A reminder of how things can change in an instant. In the last few days I have felt stronger and had more energy, which in turn makes me a lot more fun to be around. I am getting things accomplished and tidying up, which is a sure sign of the old me starting to making a comeback. In the next few months it will be very interesting to see what comes out of me, pick up where I left off or a new direction? Some people describe these kinds of events as their life being interrupted, hijacked or that they have lost time. I feel more like my perception was suddenly shifted (by a 2×4) forcing me to look away, look around, look again. Maybe it's one of the best things to have ever taken me by surprise.




  Stephen Rapp

07/10/2008 * 11:40:47

Its so good to hear how you've been pulling through this whole ordeal. It's even especially so to see what inner strength you've gained from it all. I admire how you are able to see the big picture. When I eventually move back to Massachusetts I'd love to come visit.



  Richie Sarno

07/06/2008 * 21:57:50

I look at this picture of you and I imagine you saying, "I'll get you my pretty and your little dog too." I love this photo and I am sure I love you just as much with no hair as well. You have a lifetime ahead of you of so many more wonderful things to happen and hair is just a small part of it. It will grow back. I have put on weight and Heck I looked in the mirror the other day and I saw Edgar Buchanan looking back at me. Oh yes, There was Uncle Joe, moving kind of slow at the Junction... Petticoat Junction. I need to get in shape. So don't worry you will be fine.



  Jackie Griswold ( homepage )

07/06/2008 * 07:59:04

I am fairly new to artid, so I've not been following your journey, although I have gone back an read your posts. You are courageous and full of wisdom.

Over the past several years I've participated in the Rays of Hope Walk, as well as the Komen and Avon Walks (both multi-day, multi-mile walks) and have always been both humbled and blown away by the survivors who were there. I also work with a support group for women who are breast cancer survivors, and they are amazing. I do this work in memory of and in honor of the many people in my life who have been touched by breast cancer, and also so that the generations to follow will be spared. I say all of this not to blow my own horn, but to show my deep admiration for you, and others who share your journey.

Thank you for sharing your story of inspiration with us. I will be sending healing white light your way, along with my prayers.

Jackie Griswold


  Michael Mize ( homepage )

07/05/2008 * 14:10:07

I think your last sentence demonstrates perfectly the phenominal attitude you've had throughout this experience. And it is further evidence to support the fact that the "new old" you will be a better, stronger, and wiser version of yourself. Your work will, no doubt, improve right along with you. Here's to moving forward!

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