Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rev O' Lution: Stillness

Create Stillness Collage by Lani

I can feel this process of evocative words combined with collage creating "revolutionary" rumbles below the surface. I tried one of Simone Alter-Muri's Post Modernist Art Therapy leads, and explored Jenny Holzer's Truisms to see if I could find a truism related to stillness. I found "all things are delicately interconnected" and worked a collage around that and stillness.

Morning pages collage by Lani

On a related topic, in a kind of "all things are delicately interconnected" kind of way, Simone Alter-Muri has a dear friend, a professor of Transpersonal psychology, who is living with terminal cancer as a “sick well person”. Now that is one of the biggest tests for creating stillness that a person can face. Simone shared Aric's story with us during her Positive Psychology workshop at the American Art Therapy Association Conference in Dallas last month. Simone had given him a call, and he told her he has blissful ignorance about his cancer. “I go to the MD but I am not interested in watching my cancer go up and down. Cancer is just a label that the doctors gave me, I experience physical sensations and the doctor labels it as cancer. Actually the creative force is my healing” He is writing a book that includes art, poetry and his journals. He does not accept the idea that cancer is a death sentence. It is just cancer. He goes to the doctor and listens but feels that there is something beyond the canvas. Something is so beautiful that he does not feel the darkness of death but the beauty of living moment to moment.
“Living with cancer is beyond the canvas, I am put to the test what stroke to put on, and it’s a journey I am in the moment. I am not talking to you in humbleness I am not invested in the cancer nor am I in a battle with it. I know I will not survive but who really knows when they will go? I am practicing blissful ignorance not watching the cancer numbers go up and down. I am moving ahead in my life the best I can perhaps not positive psychology but choicelessness. I surrender to the greater appreciation of the moment. Practicing quality of life is a choice.”
(Aric's personal communication to Simone Alter-Muri, October 30, 2009)
I love this. It gives me such a still, happy feeling to think of living in this moment-to-moment way, beyond the canvas. Thank you Simone and thank you Aric!


Bill C. said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. My wife had breast cancer 5 years ago, and has been fine since then. However, cancer markers are now showing up in her lungs and bronchial tubes. She doesn't share the joy of art and writing that you and I share, but Aric's words and your post are very comforting to me.


Erika C. said...

I love what you are doing with this, Lani. I am also exploring the words I want to live by, having been inspired by you, and you are right, it is a powerful, underground process.

Lani Gerity said...

Thank you Bill and Erika. I'm hoping Simone lets Aric know how much his words mean to others!

ART*ticulation said...

OMG these are awesome!!!!!!!