In honor of my niece, a massage therapist. Love, grief and loss erupted onto the frame 4 years ago after her death. She stayed with me until this trip to see Stevie. She now resides with them. 

PARADOX: a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.”the mingling of deciduous trees with elements of desert flora forms a fascinating ecological paradox”

It took a solid week for the cat to rest curled up in the corner, and for me to curl up in bed to sleep many consecutive nights in a row for both of us to begin interacting with each other and the environment again. She has recovered enough to nuzzle my finger with her nose and her eyes are present, and I’m able to respond with real feelings not robotically.

A paradox seems always present in my life. The opposites called ‘life’ feel too hard to manage sometimes, yet there they are. Holding precious memories close from being with our sons and their little babies over the Adirondack vacation will take precedence over the insanity from lack of sleep which took me away from my body and its sensory faculties.

It could be said it was a week wasted. Is your cup half full or half empty? Well both. It was a difficult struggle to maintain cordiality and look out for others emotional needs when my own were bare and had run dry, yet that extraordinary feat was accomplished.

Added to the stressful burden was being with my dear younger brother still coping with the loss of his beautiful daughter only four years ago. Being closer to them brought me closer to their grief, the weight of it potentially burying. How greedy of me to profess wanting space from their pain. I bring it home like a sad cloak feeling guilty for not wanting to feel it.

Processing it all takes time and help. God help me, as the soft breezes and twitters of birds’ calm my frazzled emotions. The losses in the group of people I was born unto is astounding; a brother, Dan, by suicide at 28, my niece only a few years ago, then a nephew about the same age a year later both not yet 30.

The neglectful, chaotic childhood affected all eight children in this group of people negatively and severely. The word family does not fit so I cannot use it. That is my history. My present is much different. I could run from my younger brother or try to be there. I chose being there. 

9 thoughts on “MASSAGE HANDS

  1. Family = chaos to me. The fact you preserve the positive nature of the word and switch to group is powerful. This is a way all of us who experience it as chaos can recapture it for our future in a healthy and positive light. Wise. I’m so sorry for all the loss you have experienced and the circumstances behind each one. So sad.


    1. “preserve the positive nature of the word,” I really like the way you put that. How to make sense of the nonsensical. I’m sorry you experience a similar history in some respects.
      Thank you for such a thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a beautiful piece of artwork. I’m so sorry for your loss, and the pain everyone is still feeling. You aren’t greedy or wrong or bad or selfish to need space from others’ pain. We all need space from others’ feelings at times. That’s why (ideally, in childhood if we had been given a healthy safe childhood) we have emotional boundaries, why we develop the ability to know what is our stuff and what is their stuff. It’s okay to need space. Being able to sit with another in their intense feelings and hurts is a gift to them. Xx💟

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Grief is so personal, it comes and goes in waves, it rises and dampens thru time but is always there in the background. Your art is a wonderful legacy, it is strong and bold, to me it is telling a story of holding the world in your hands, lifting it up safe and above any murky depths. I love that art can translate such powerful emotions. Glad you are getting back on track and recharging your batteries. kiss for Molly

    Liked by 2 people

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