Hope & Healing Through Photography and Poetic Expression

Self Portrait

Freewheeling

Ride me to freedom
Spinning dreams on silver ground
Destination unknown

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click here to read a short personal narrative
pertaining to this image: Freewheeling ~ narrative


Pain Shadow (on exhibit)

~

On the deserted beach
I walk with a pain shadow.
Hip searing with each step
I move forward slowly.

My joint tears away.
A sharp arrow pierces through me.
I stop to find stillness yet the
pain shadow follows.

Gazing into the ocean,
I inhale deeply
then exhale with force
trying to release the pain.

But it won’t let go.

I must abandon this pain shadow.
This constant companion.
This unwelcome thing.
That has attached itself to me.

19 years of unrelenting pain.
Countless attempts to escape
to normal days, when the beach
meant walks and waves; picnics and laughter.

I climb the wooden stairs to look down
on the wide expanse of shoreline.
In pain I stand tall above the sprawling
desolate beach that goes on forever.

I envision myself burying the pain shadow
beneath the sandy surface,
deep in a restrictive dark hole
where it can no longer define my world.

And in that moment I am free.

~

©Robyn Lee: March 2012

recently selected for exhibit in the gallery  Escape From Pain – PainExhibit.org

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I am honored to announce that the above artistic photograph and accompanying prose poem has been selected for gallery inclusion at PainExhibit.org | A California Non-Profit Art Exhibit.  PainExhibit.org is an educational, visual arts exhibit by artists with chronic pain . The global not-for- profit organization is dedicated to creating awareness amongst healthcare providers and the public about chronic pain through art, and to give voice to the many who suffer in silence. I learned about this organization after reading an article in the NY Times featuring the organization and its mission.  Here is a link to the article  Pain as an Art Form – NYTimes.com.  Immediately I felt aligned with the goals and intention of this organization, and was moved by the works shared at the exhibit.

My Pain Shadow  (above) was an early post that I published about a year ago.  It was the 2nd piece in my  blog’s Pain Shadow Series,  and the first poetic/prose piece I wrote that reflected my innermost feelings about living the past 19+ years with severe chronic pain and health challenge.  As someone who has always done her best to bring as little attention as possible to her dilemma, I confess, this was a difficult piece to share publicly.  At the same time, I now realize it was also a transformational experience for me;  By creating art,  and opening my heart to others about this isolating and life-altering plight , I quickly learned  how beauty and art can be born of pain…how this art can inspire compassion, and can heal both artist and viewer.

After some encouragement by a dear friend, I submitted my work last winter to PainExhibit.org.  I’d nearly forgotten about the submission, when several months later, I was notified that my entry was indeed accepted, and would be included in the collection of  art displayed at the gallery entitled: Escape From Pain.  Please visit PainExhibit.org to learn more about this unique exhibit, and explore a variety of amazing works in the various galleries housed there.  I am extremely proud and honored to be a part of this collection, and the organization’s important mission.

Pain, especially when chronic, is a very difficult subject to understand and embrace. Often pain cannot be seen, and it is nearly impossible to articulate. Quite frankly, it is an isolating and frightening place to be. Art, whether it be through written word, painting, sculpture, photography, music or other, offers a powerful vehicle for universal expression and transformation. Pain channeled through the creative process allows both the artist and the observer a meaningful and deep connection, one that speaks directly to the heart of  the human experience.

With my whole heart, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who follow and support me, and my blog work.  Over the last year, this sacred space has become such an important part of my life, and of my healing path.  Always know how much your friendship, love and support of my artistic endeavors means to me. Each of you have touched me, and enriched my world through your presence and appreciation, and for this I am so grateful.

Much Love ~
Robyn Lee


Blue Venus II


Waves
 of
inspiration

flow

from 
hearts
that 

love

~

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On Monday I received an email from my dear friend, Monica,
a very special lady I  first crossed paths with in the fall of 2010.
Facing similar challenges, Monica and I found the gift of friendship
after meeting on an internet medical support forum. Since that time,
we have become sisters of the soul… And, for this, I’m so grateful.

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After admiring Resa’s spectacular masterpiece art-gown Blue Venus this weekend,
 Monica sent me a wonderful poem she composed, explaining
that
 she was inspired by the stunning gown, combined with
the spirit she envisioned I would wear it.

I am deeply touched by her graceful heart, and
wanted to share her poetic healing words with each of you today.

 Paired with a shadow self-portrait, please enjoy this 3rd level
of artistic inspiration born of Resa’s  Blue Venus
 
Truly captivating verse, crafted by a very
talented poetess, and
beautiful friend.

Thank you
Monica!

With so much Love
~
Robyn Lee

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~

Wrapped in clouds and sky

her footfall gentle on the sand

eyes shining with bravery

trailing tranquility in her wake.

~

 Garbed in shimmering blue

Grecian goddess dancing

with iridescent fish from the sea

to the melody of hope and love.

~

Floating in sapphire silk,

singing to the ocean and stars

the wind answers back

as she walks like the night,  in beauty.

~
©Monica


Blue Venus

Please
take
my
hand

~

It’s
time
to
go,

 ~

Inside
the
sea

~

of
passion’s
flow;

~

To
dance
on
waves

~

and

~

taste
the
tide,

~

 Invade
the
space

~

where
love
collides;

~

Submerged
beneath
the

~

clouds
and
moon,

~

Where
water
sings

~

a
sultry
tune;

~

 At
last
I’ll
kiss

~

the
heart
of
you,

~

and
fall
into

~

my
deepest
Blue.

~

©Robyn Lee

venus-6 3


To offer creative inspiration to a fellow-artist
seems, to me, one of the richest gifts
we might ever give, or receive.

This gorgeous “art gown”  entitled, Blue Venus was designed and created  by the very talented and brilliant Resa McConaghy of Queen’s end.

Resa is a professional costume designer, and this is her 4th in an exciting series of “art gowns” featured on her blog.

She explained that she was inspired to design this one for me, after enjoying many of my writings and photos here, featuring sea, sky and love. I could not be more touched and honored, and thus wanted to share this magnificent gown, fit for a goddess, with all of  you today. My poem, above, flowed from my pen and heart, almost instantly, after seeing Blue Venus for the first time.  Clearly Resa must  have intuitive powers, only having asked me about my favorite colors – and creating this fantasy gown that I truly adore.

Hope you enjoyed, and be sure to visit Resa at her Blog, Blue Venus « Queen’s end  to see  more photos of this stunning gown, and to learn additional details about the birth of her masterpiece. Thank you beautiful Resa ~  I will forever cherish this most incredible gift of your art.

Much Love Always
~
Robyn Lee

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Mirror Mirror

 

Depth of Reflection

Shimmering: Goddess and Ghost

Green Eyes See Past Glass

©Robyn Lee

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Click here to read my brief  ~ Healing Journey ~ update


Cast Ashore

where
debris
drifts ashore

~

forming
edges
and lines;

~

where
memories
tumble

~

and
hope
is
defined;

~

where
lovers
have
lingered

~

and

faith
has been
born;

~

where
sun’s
tender kiss

~

precedes
hurricane’s
scorn;

~

where
wind
swirls

its
promise;

~

embodied
deep in the
grain,

~

sculptures
of
life
grow

~

amidst
shadows
of
pain.

~

©Robyn Lee

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I  want to let everyone know that I will be leaving town this weekend for an undefined period of time.  I will be flying to another state to  consult with a medical professional in order to determine  whether I might benefit from  working with him privately on a very specific functional training program he developed, in efforts to help stabilize my joints, and better hold them in their sockets.

It is  past the 2 year mark now, since my bilateral hip surgeries ( arthroscopic repair of  labrum tears and bone impingement). I have done all humanly possible to recover  from this surgery , and regain some degree of normal function, but my situation continues to worsen, and the pain remains unrelenting.

As an update to My Story which I wrote about a year ago… it was recently determined that I have congenitally shallow anterior hip sockets (hip dysplasia) in addition to very loose ligaments (body-wide).  Thus this last  surgery in which my bone was carved, and joint capsule violated in order to do the repairs mentioned, did not serve me, and has seemingly rendered my joints more unstable.

I hope that I will be a candidate for this specialized training program with a functional movement expert I have sought out personally, and  have great faith in. Through dedication and hard work, I’m hoping to develop even greater body awareness, and gain enhanced  neuromuscular control of my ball/socket joints, increasing stability and reducing pain. As you might imagine, I  am trying desperately to avoid further surgeries, which  the experts warn, offer “no guarantees”.

Although I may be away  for several weeks now, I hope to have internet, and my wireless devices handy, and will  keep a good eye on everyone here ~ reading posts as much as possible, and hopefully posting some too.

Sending much Love and Light to all of you,
who have been, and continue to be
such an incredible source of strength
and inspiration in my life.

~
Robyn Lee


Dear Robyn …

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Dear Robyn,

Today is your birthday,
and the eve
of a new year.

~

Take pause,
reflect, and be
grateful for
all the gifts of this
year past:

All
the
growth;

the
wisdom;

and
the Love.

~

Despite
your merciless
shadow
of pain;

the saddest
news headlines;

and
the most
turbulent storms;

You found
ways

to
inhale
the pure
scent of sea

and

feel the
warm touch
of
sunshine
on your cheek;

~

You sought
comfort

in the
glow
of
moonlight,

and
joy

in
bare feet
walking
over silky
sands;

~

You shared
intimate moments
with
butterflies,

and
gazed
soulfully into
the eyes of
deer.

~

This year you
were
blessed

with
inspiration
and
faith

in

love
and
friendship;

A boundless kind
of friendship… that
defies limits
of
time and space.

~

You learned

To trust your heart
and
share your words,
and your
vision;

To open your eyes
wider than they’ve ever
dared open
before;

To look confidently
through your
healing lens

and
know
that nobody
defines the sight
you behold…
except you.

~

And the gifts you have
received this year
are far richer for
having known

and welcomed
so many wonderful
kindred spirits
into your world.

~

Connecting
with
friends
of the soul

through this
magical
medium-of-technology

which somehow,
dissolves barriers
that,
too often,
divide;

~

You have witnessed
how it fosters

oneness
and
honesty;

~

artistic expression
and
passion;

~

healing
and
peace.

~

And just think,

How fortunate
are you?

To share
your own:

beach-walks
and
sunsets;

~

fantasies
and
sorrows;

~

hopes
and
fears.

~

How wondrous
to be
able

to support
and encourage
others,

and
to be

supported,
and
encouraged;

~

To
create,

and

 to be
part
of another’s
creating.

~

So today give reverence and thanks
for all these wonderful
birthday gifts, and celebrate.

Smile from the deepest place in your heart;
Look forward to a hopeful new year…
and tell all of the world
how much

You
Love
~

Robyn Lee

clock

~
Today I celebrate not only my birthday, and the beginning of a new year,
but also the milestone of nearly twelve months since joining this
remarkable blogging community… and soul family.
I feel so very grateful, and blessed to know all of you.

May this coming year bring peace, love, health
and abundant joy to
each of you.

Thank you for enriching my life.

Happy 2013!

WITH SO MUCH LOVE

~

Robyn


Poetry Of Hope

“I stay in the realm of realism,
but always carry with me the fantasy,
the romance, the wish fulfillment–
the poetry of hope.”
~~~

Lynne Greenerg
The Body Broken

 

During the last 2 decades I’ve read most everything I could find to help me make sense of my unexpected plight with chronic pain, and the complex medical maze that I was suddenly thrust into as a young mother at age 30. During a particularly difficult time several years ago, I read a book entitled, The Body Broken, by Lynne Greenberg. This book had a profound impact on my outlook, and my approach to life.

Lynne’s book is a  lyrical memoir, written by a talented writer, sensitive soul and professor of literature who faced, quite similarly to me, a world that suddenly ‘changed on a dime’.  I would recommend this book to everyone. It is a literary treasure, and poetic masterpiece that speaks honestly and directly to the plight of facing adversity, and discovering courage to reinvent a joyful life in the face of challenge, and physical pain that is not easily remedied. Lynne taught me a great deal by her noble example, and for this I am grateful and honored to share her work.

I invite you to take a few moments here to view this video clip of a brief interview with Lynne (aired on ABC with Diane Sawyer). It will provide you a flavor for her wonderful book, and also introduce you to the brave, beautiful and creative spirit that she is.

click here: Living With Chronic Pain | Video – ABC News

Much Love Always
~

Robyn Lee


Storm Surge

Tide Surge Raising Fear
Penetrating Eye Of Storm
Hurricane, Have Heart

~
The above self-portrait was shot at
9 o’clock pm Monday night.
This was high-tide for our area, and the
the height of intensity for Hurricane Sandy.

As many of you know, following mandatory evacuation,
I fled with my puppy to a hotel location on Sunday, and
took shelter there with many other evacuees where we lost
power, heat and hot water.

Both humans and pets shared a common bond,
in the midst of the pending natural disaster.
Together at our “safe haven” hotel, people quickly
became caring friends. There were 11-year old twin girls entertaining
Rumi for me, as people offered to share flashlight batteries, and
whatever food they brought along.

Sadly, many lost their homes, and there were
numerous heartbreaking stories of
personal struggle and devastation.
What was obvious and uplifting though,
was the instant shared camaraderie and faith among
these strangers, in the face of fear.

I am very thankful that my
home has remained mostly
in tact, less some property damage,
I will finally be returning tomorrow,
as we just received word that our power,
heat and hot water have
been restored as of this evening.

 I offer continued prayers  for all of those who
have suffered loss and struggle in
the wake of this powerful storm,
and want to express my most heartfelt thanks to all
of my wonderful friends here, who have kept us in
thought and prayer for safety.

Much Love,

Robyn Lee


Savasana

In
Pain
She
Wakes

~

Facing
a
New
Dawn

~

Anticipating

~

Today
Will
Be
Different.

~

In
Pain
She
Tries

~

to
Believe
Solutions
Await

~

to
Remember

~

the
Universe

~

Is
on
Her
Side.

~

In
Pain
She
Clings

~

Tightly

~

to
Faith

~

Reassuring
Herself

~

That
if
She

~

 Does all
the
Right
Things

~

 Follows
the
Rules

~

Holds
the
Perfect
Posture

~

Contracts
Specific
Muscles

~

At
the
Precise
Moment;

~

if
She
Trusts

~

and
Forgives

~

Nourishes
Her
Being

~

Honors
Her
Heart

~

and

~

Loves,

~

She
Will
Heal

~

and

~

Reside
in
a

~

Kind
Gentle
Body

~
Once more.
____

But

~

In
Pain
She
is

~

Struck

~

Struck
Hard

~

By
Relentless
Agony

~

By
the
Harsh
Realization

~

That
She
is
off
Center

~

Uncertain
How
She
will
Endure

~

This
Invisible
Affliction

~

Day after
Day
After
Day

~

Night after
Night
After
Night.

~

And

~~

In
Pain
She
Knows

~

That

~

On these
Days

~

When
Resistance
Has taken
its
Toll

~

All
She
Can do
is

~

Stop

~

Call
Upon
Compassion

~

Lay her
Body
Down
Flat

~

and

~

Listen
to
the

~

Cadence
of
Her
Own

~
Consoling

~

Breath.

~~~

©Robyn Lee

Thanks to all of you for being here. Please know I am hanging in,
and so grateful to have this venue to express myself creatively, even in the difficult moments.
Although, most often, I enjoy escaping into fun and fantasy through my blog-work,
I also believe an important part of my healing process is to remain honest and open with all of you.

This artistic self-portrait and poem was composed this past Tuesday.
My healing lens, tripod and pen helped me to confront
the physical pain and emotion I was facing that day, head-on.
The yogic pose I assumed for this shot, Shavasana , was unplanned,
but later held significant meaning in terms
of self-healing.

 Sometimes Inspiration finds us through our courage to embrace and express where
we are at any given moment, even if it is not where we want to be.
From there we can continue our journey forward…lighter,
and with more ease, and grace.

It means a lot to me, to have such genuine friendship and support, and a safe place to turn while
I’m working through the tough times. 
Thanks to each of you for your sensitive presence, and shared talents,
which remind me daily that I’m so much more than the physical challenges.

I Remain Hopeful!

Much Love~

Robyn Lee


Vision Quest

Swept away
on
a
Vision Quest

 ~

In
The midst
of
a
Whirlwind

~

My
Rite
of
Passage

~

Delivers
me
Safely

~

To
a
Cherished
Space

~

Nature’s
Purest
Place

~

Where

~

Buried
Deep

~

Under
Golden
Grains

~

I
find
a
Treasure

~

My Lens;

~~~

Standing
Alone

~

Secure
in
Wet
Sand

~

I
Look
Through

~

And
Within

~

Seeing
From
New eyes

~

Magnified
Truth

~

Empowered
Presence

~

Illuminated
Self;

~

My
Eyes relax

and

~

Focus
Converges

on

~

All that
is
Love

~

All that
is
Me;

~

Blinded

~

From
Fear

~~

Shielded

~

From
Pain

~~

My Lens

~

Exposes

~

That
Which is
Real

~

That
Which is
Illusion

~

Altering

My
Vision

~

Eternally

~~~

©Robyn Lee

 My first nature excursion in about 6 weeks!

On Friday at 4 pm I had an enchanting encounter with the sea.

A healing moment indeed.

Thanks to each of you for being so incredibly loving and supportive,
and sending me such passionate healing energies as I continue my journey.
I know they hold great power, and I love you all for the special souls you are.

~Robyn Lee


The One

In
the
Midnight
of my

yearning

I
Fall

Deeply

into
the
Clutches
of

~

The One

who
Promises to

Accept
me
unconditionally;

~

The One

who
will

 Soothe my
body,

Purify my
soul,

and

Cleanse my
mind;

~

The One 

who
masterfully

Reflects
my
light

and

Drowns
my
shadows.

~~~

I

Succumb

readily

to

~

The One

who

Heats
my
flesh

and

Circulates
my
blood;

~

The One

who
Immerses
me
in
a

Solid
Vessel

of

Intoxicating
Liquid
Bliss.

~~~

I surrender my
Whole
Self
to

~

The One

with
Power

To
Dilute
my
Pain

and

Invigorate
me

from
Head to
Toe,

Lavishly,

Sensually,

During
the
Darkest hour

of
Night;

Beneath the
Warm
Glow

of
Amber
Flames;

~~~

Always there

Always willing

Always waiting

Just
For
me;

~

The One

I
Love

~

My

Tub.

~~~

©Robyn Lee


Once Upon A Time

“…for with each dawn,
she found new hope that someday,
her dreams of happiness would come true.”

~
Cinderella
Walt Disney, 1950

 I am most delighted to invite you to enjoy this wonderful poem by fellow blogger, Julie Catherine, entitled Sonnet Sequence: On Cinderella « .  Julie and I agree that, together, the posts make a lovely collaboration of image and words.

You can also view Julie’s poem alongside my image here: Sonnet Sequence: On Cinderella, by~Julie Catherine

Thank you Julie, and Much Love to all!

~ Robyn Lee


Transcendent Shadow

In the still night

Holding stable

Atop white sandy dunes

I lift my head in prayer.

Hearing the moon’s call, I

Submit to the pleas of my own

Desperate breath.

~~~

A warm salt breeze

Strokes my forehead

Gently urging my eyelids to close;

And quietly, I slip away from

~~~

What is real

What is earthly

What is pain.

~~~

Swiftly transported through

Space and time;

Lifted lovingly onto the wings of

Incandescent stars,

I transcend.

~~~

Spinning fervently

Whirling and turning, round and round

like a Dervish;

Finally, I penetrate a solid

Wall of mirrored glass and,

I am welcomed.

~~~

Without thought

Without words

Without pain,

I enter.

~~~

Here

Where my body

Is weightless and free;

And movement, effortless.

~~~

Here

Without bondage

Without boundary

Without pain.

~~~

Here

Where My dreams

Dance freely,

Held in the safe embrace of

 Blissful crystal waters;

~~~

And

Where my heart beats in

Perfect sync with the

Rhythmic tides of

My truth.

~

Robyn Lee


Adorn Me

Reflecting back on days of old,
Adorned in high heels: bright, sexy and bold

Goddess and princess all tied into one
I was Queen of Sea, and Maiden of Sun

 With spine and hip woes directing the show
the shoes I embrace now are stable and low

 So here I spend time, with my mirrors and lens
And fondle old shoes stitched with dreams, and pretend.

~Robyn Lee