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 ~