Ride me to freedom
Spinning dreams on silver ground
click here to read a short personal narrative
pertaining to this image: Freewheeling ~ narrative
The lovely young woman featured in this image is My Butterfly at The Alcázare of Seville (Spanish “Reales Alcázares de Sevilla” or “Royal Alcazars of Seville” ). Alcazars is a royal palace in Seville, Spain. Originally a Moorish fort, It is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe.
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
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 ~
Guide the way,
see me, but
Pure heat that
There are no
As I fly home from my 6 week journey, I write with a full heart. Many of you know, I am returning from Chicago, where I worked intensely with a rehabilitation specialist who I personally sought out after 2 years of struggle following unsuccessful hip surgeries, and progressive pain. My activities of daily living have been severely limited.
After being let down time and time again in my quest for help, I was in search of expert support and guidance, and wanted desperately to learn more about my mechanical dysfunctions, and train to develop the most efficient movement patterns possible to reduce pain and improve function, despite having many ‘broken parts’. I wanted to do my best to maximize my potential to participate in the joys of life again.
My commitment to this journey was a leap of faith, as over the last 20 years I have been through countless physical therapy programs, and have undergone numerous medical and surgical interventions, most always resulting in disappointment and confusion.
I can honestly say this was different, and by far the best rehabilitation training experience I’ve ever had.
I am quite certain that trusting my own intuition led me to find my way a very special healer and a unique approach.
I feel blessed to have “landed” in the hands of Dr. Evan Osar and his team. Dr. Osar is the founder of Chicago Integrative Movement Specialists. I encountered his pioneering work online watching his webinars (for professionals), and observing him demonstrate his methods in numerous video presentations. I also found additional insight in reading his books, and numerous articles. I was immediately drawn to him and his work, as it made a tremendous amount of sense to me–given my personal experience and heightened level of body awareness due to my painful condition.
Yes, It was my own “crazy” idea to contact him, and to then to temporarily relocate to the Chicago, Illinois so that I could train daily with him and his fine team. My family was initially hesitant, but eventually completely supportive, and then proud that I would undertake such a project by myself. They also came to appreciate and understand why Dr. Osar’s approach to movement-based therapy was something I needed to explore.
As I return, now six weeks later, I reflect on the wonderful experience this has been. Each day I received very focused training (1.5 hours per day and assessment along with hours of homework). I worked hard, and gained a tremendous education with respect to functional movement, respiration and joint centration, all key elements in combating my pain and increasing my ability to move most efficiently, protect my joints, muscles and tendons, and prevent further injury. I learned the power of using imagery and cues to tap into neuromuscular control I did not even know I had ~ so many amazing epiphanies.
I truly feel that Dr. Osar, Sara and Jenice have given me the gift of a special ‘toolbox’ filled with magical methods and techniques that I can revisit and expand upon as I continue my journey. They have also instilled in me new insight into my own body’s intelligence, that which I can call on daily for support and healing. We made great strides, and although I have a long way to go, and we can’t be certain if more surgical intervention will be necessary, I am confident that no matter where my path leads, the support and wisdom I have gained last several weeks will serve me immensely.
Perhaps most importantly, I have found in this healthcare team a restored faith and trust in the healing profession, which, until now, has let me down time and time again. I experienced wisdom, integrity and genuine caring through out my entire stay. Each day was approached with pure focused intention and integrity of spirit. I could not have asked to be in more competent hands than this, and know that my trust in Dr. Osar, Sara and Jenice was well-placed.
I am thrilled to be home now and excited to continue working hard to progress and grow with all I learned in Chicago. I plan to revisit Chicago Integrative Movement Specialists periodically, and to keep in touch with this wonderful group as I follow the comprehensive home program they provided.
Finally, allow me to express my heartfelt appreciation to each of you dear friends who have been following my blog throughout my journey these last 6 weeks. Your supportive words of encouragement and loving energies, has meant the world to me. It was so comforting to check in on your blogs while I was away, to find poetry, pictures, stories, warm messages and even a stunning art gown made in my honor :). To me it truly does feel like our WordPress community is extended family. We share a very unique and heartfelt connection in many wonderful ways… and for this I am so grateful.
Much Love and Blessings
today and always
“He is not
© Robyn Lee
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.
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
With so much Love
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.
To offer creative inspiration to a fellow-artist
seems, to me, one of the richest gifts
we might ever give, or receive.
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
Please enjoy this timeless, and very
beautiful poem that echoes
my own sentiments about
Unending Love, 1889
by Rabindranath Tagore
I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it’s age-old pain,
It’s ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.
You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.
Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours –
And the songs of every poet past and forever.
Much Love on
❤ Robyn Lee
deep in the
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.