Last week I went into my studio with certain things on my mind. Usually when I pull out my paintbrushes I’m able to push those things aside and just be in the moment. I thought I was accomplishing this quite well when I completed my last painting. Until, that is, I realized I had just painted a self portrait – in the form of a tree:
At first it hadn’t occurred to me that that’s what I’d done. In fact, I had no particular vision of what the end result would even look like. I just knew as I progressed that this subject had faced turmoil. The end result shows a mature and weathered tree as opposed to one with lovely leaves and/or flowers to look at. There is no new life springing forth from its branches, either – not that its beyond repair, but rather awaiting a sign from Mother Nature.
This tree is waiting for its new life to begin. And so am I.
I’ve discussed my surgery enough on this blog. You get the idea of how much I’ve struggled in my recovery; how difficult its been to see the forest through the trees (no pun intended). What I’ve been too embarrassed to share until now is that even though I’m noticing small amounts of progress, I’m feeling less and less attractive. Grateful for the colder months, I am taking comfort in knowing that I can hide my body; the swelling and bloating at my incision site is something I simply cannot stand to look at anymore. I’ve started wearing scarves or turtlenecks all of the time as well. Hiding my neck, of course, because of the cystic acne that’s become a problem since surgery. If I keep this up, I’m going to be wrapped up like a mummy by Christmas.
Sometimes a girl just needs to to think positively about herself even though she doesn’t necessarily believe what she’s selling. The quote I chose as a finishing touch to my painting depicts what I am trying to embrace about myself. I can certainly use a bit of positive reinforcement right now. And who knows; maybe when Springtime comes around and I’m forced to peel off all these layers I’ll paint this tree a second time, with tiny leaves and flower buds – just to make it pretty again.