Monday, May 6, 2013
"Tell the Birds I have Cancer"
This is a little painting I did this morning for my mother who died one year ago today from a brain tumor.
While she was dying she would rave and cry unceasingly but it seemed to give her some comfort if someone was sitting and talking to her. So I was nattering on about nothing while she moaned and cried when I noticed some birds outside. I said "Oh there's some birds outside enjoying the bird bath you made for them." She suddenly became focused and clear spoken and she said "Birds?" I said "Yes there's some birds in the bird bath." She said "Tell them, you've got to tell them!" I said "tell them what?" and she said "Tell them I have cancer."
I cried like I've never done in all my life.
But after a while I went outside and told the birds that my mother had cancer. Now I know, of course, that the birds didn't benefit at all from this conversation, but I did, because my Mom had asked me to do something and I had wanted so desperately to Do something for her.
We have probably all been in this situation in some way where we want to do something for someone whom we can no longer reach so whatever we do is a form of talking to the birds.
It was a strangely beautiful and poetic moment in the middle of so much horror and despair. We were all sleep deprived and nerve shattered and I still haven't fully recovered, but this strange little scene was a gift to me from my Mom because it gave me a little doorway out of it all.
If you asked most artists to paint something reflecting the pain and horror of brain cancer they would probably produce something ugly and disturbing. I might also if weren't for this one moment. But Mom would hate pictures like that which is a sentiment I share. She'd like pictures like this one much more so I'm glad I have this outlet of expression available to me.
So here's a little oil painting for Mom. 6 inches by 20 inches and 2 inches on the edges. Like all my other stuff it's on some recycled piece of wood which is a concept that Mom approved of.