There are still so many mysteries inherent in the healing process, but we know with certainty that the attitude of the person is a key element to success. My friend has embraced her healing process and searched to find something she could visualise as her body undergoes chemo treatments. As someone to whom war is anathema, visualising chemical warfare in her body is not an option. She grew up in Florida and had been an active Girl Scout, and she has chosen to envisage a troop of Girl Scouts singing campfire songs and hymns as they go to stare down the cancer B-cells. Her brother Bob says a troop of Girl Scouts singing is sure to strike terror in any bully cancer cells. 🙂
So fast forward to the painted T-shirts. I am too far away to be of practical help but since we share an interest in art and the processes of making art, I began sharing the work I am doing on the artist’s book “Rope of Words” and painted some T-shirts for her, depicting the woman in the story. This short award winning story is written by Megan Kerr and with her permission I am sending one section at a time with the sketches and plans for illustrations (and an occasional T-shirt).
The first T-shirt depicts the woman in the beginning of the story when she was weeping for her lost words. She and her lover had collected words in the golden valley and she lost the thread of words and the valley closed, leaving her outside.
In the second T-shirt, you can see where she begins her search for her lost words, (even as my friends’ Girl Scouts are searching for the healing). The woman has tenacity and courage and is paddling through the mangrove swamps.
“Once, she found astrolabe, pitter-patter, and timorous in a chain and her heart flew up into the air. The words’ jingling stopped her ears. When she looked closer, though, she realised the next was only coincidence and not serendipity. She unclenched her hand and the spurious chain slithered from her fingers”.
What resonates for me in this story, is the idea of a journey. As an echo of life, many stories depict a metaphorical journey. This journey is a search for lost words to find her way back to her lover. My friend has embarked on a new journey towards healing.
My friends is hanging the Rope of Words T-shirts on her bedroom wall, as powerful companion-women in a journey that each day is an unexpected adventure.