Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year and a Jentel Wrap-Up

My friend Steph has a family tradition of doing laundry on New Year's Day. I think the idea is to set a tone of accomplishment rather than procrastination for the year. I've been meaning to write up a conclusion to my Jentel posts, to form some sort of completion to its narrative on this blog. Today is January 2, not the first day of the year, but I'm finally getting to writing something, though I'm not sure I've figured any of it out yet.

While there, I started processing how I've become a caretaker to someone who is ill, and all the implications and changes that this is going to mean for my life. I also spent a great deal of time feeling alternately guilty, angry, or worried (I was so lucky to have good people around me at Jentel who helped me deal with these feelings). At the same time, I kept thinking about the ideas of healing within the landscape, which led me to piece above (detail below), placing me and Robert within it, hoping that by envisioning health it could come to us. (Also why I didn't post images of it before - wanted him to see it first)!

Though I have to admit, so far, no such luck. Last week, after puttering around cleaning up my studio (always puts me back in the groove), I finished the last triptych that I started there. During the last few days I had run out of blue ink, so it had to wait till I was home for the last layer. I'll post the full triptych soon, but here is one of the completed center print hot off the press:

Have to admit, I loved the intimacy of all the hand-printing I did at Jentel, but on a press it goes SO MUCH FASTER.

The suspicious part of my brain wanted to believe something like, if I finish this triptych (which also has Robert in it in another panel) maybe he will get better. And he did seem to be improving for a day or two last week. Still in pain, but more present. And then he took another bad turn and my hopes were dashed again.

In the past two days, I've been repeatedly asked if I'm depressed about my current situation. On the phone this evening with a friend, they said something about how I need to keep my hopes up.  Thing is, I'm finding it more difficult to deal with my hopes being crushed repeatedly as we explore treatments that don't end up working, and I would rather just let them go. A few days ago I read something about making peace with uncertainty in regards to illness, and I think that's a good summery for where I am. I don't know if that's depression or not, but I feel better without the ups and downs.

At Jentel, I slowed down, I was not my constantly-rushing self. Part of my typical acceleration comes from ambition and planing planing planning for the future so much I'm never in the moment. I'm trying to hold on to this new unhurried demeanor, and allowing myself to proceed at a more measured pace through this uncertain time. Concentrating on just being in the now, and taking it day by day. 

1 comment:

Dan Larkin said...

I too have arrived at a place where I've slowed down and am trying to be more in the moment. I'm also getting back to the work I was avoiding and trying to enjoy living this life. I'm positive Jentel has something to do with that. I was blessed to have been in Wyoming with you, dear Michelle. Sending warm wishes and good energy towards a relief for your pain and Robert's recovery.