Tag Archives: scoliosis

SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 16: Spine


Dear Spine,
I forgive you. Or maybe you forgive me? Did I do something that made you curve into an S-shape, to try to crush my internal organs? Well, that was fixed with the rods, so you don’t have to worry anymore. Except that now you can’t move the way other spines can, and I guess that kind of sucks. No more back bends or somersaults, that’s for sure.

Anyway, I forgive you, too, and I am also grateful for you and your co-conspirators, those rods. Those silly dudes who have been with us for so long, trying to fit in, but never really being accepted as part of the “in-crowd”. Maybe it’s time we accept them, what do you think? Are they your best friends now, or worst enemies? Life saver, or ill-maker? Yes, and yes. Yes, and yes.

I am treating you the best I can, when I can, and I hope you see that. I know I wouldn’t be here without both of you. So, thank you.


Apology and a Love Letter (to my Herrington rods)

Spines and Lines

I showed my paintings at the end of October in the Sophia Arts Fall Show and Sale. I sold one painting and lots of cards, but all in all, it was a pretty slow two days. Very few people came out. That being said, I am not disappointed! It means I get to show my work again (since most of the people I invite couldn’t come, maybe they can next time!). I really loved being able to share the space with some amazing artists, especially Christina Wallace-Ockenden, Knicki Markolf, Malcolm Glover and Eden Thompson. They are so wonderful, helpful, friendly and always ready to give a hug. I’m excited to be able to show with them again in the future!

During the show, one of the other artists pointed out that I have a lot of vertical lines in my work (she said it was difficult for her to make these kinds of marks on her paintings). Later, one of my friends pointed out that many of my images look like spines.

I have purposely made drawings to look like spines in the past, but only in my sketchbook. This was the first time I realized how prominent the theme really is in a lot of my work! [Side note:  I’ll assume most people reading my blog don’t know this much about me – that I had corrective surgery for scoliosis when I was 12, and that more recently,  I have a bulging disc which sometimes throws everything out of whack and I can be bent over, crooked, for days.] I use words in my art to consciously deal with healing, pain, and recovery, particularly with my back. I just never really realized that I was doing it visually as well. It’s like I was trying to bring a vertical structure into my crooked perspective. I love that. I think it’s pretty obvious in this painting, “Fully at Home” (Not-so-subliminal message: purchase inspirational art!).

While talking about this during the show, I also realized how much I love to dance in a structured way, too. Moving in a straight path, turning abruptly, expressing myself with solid vertical and horizontal movements – these are all a huge part of my dance (Core Connexion) every week. All of this is a way for me to be in touch with what I’ve been through, what I want to be, and where I am. Thanks for reading.

Gratitude after a Feel-Bad Week

Remember when you were 15 and constantly looked at yourself in the mirror, inspecting all those pores and looking for imperfections? No? Yeah, me neither.

OK, yeah, I did it. I think it stopped when I stopped searching for a guy to share my life with. The year I had twins, I am pretty sure I stopped looking in the mirror altogether. For some reason, I did it again last week, and I wasn’t impressed. I realized pretty quickly that I had two choices: 1) Keep inspecting and find all my imperfections, then begin to hate myself because of them OR 2) Accept that I have imperfections, but stop looking for them and move on. I chose #2.

Now, don’t go thinking that I have fully accepted everything about physical being, because I certainly have not. It seems like it will take a life-time to completely accept my wrinkled belly, even though I know I should be grateful for how well it served as a home to three babies. I can’t really see myself ever wearing a bikini. And my freakin’ hair is driving me nuts (it’s the growing it out phase of my hair cycle… might quickly become the shave it-all-off-again phase). But I want to be accepting of myself and how I look. I also want to accept how my body works. Or doesn’t.

My back is crooked again. This has been on-again, off-again since Dec. 2008 (my back has a longer history, though, with surgery for scoliosis when I was almost 13), when I found out about my disc problem. I am no longer surprised when it happens, but I still get discouraged. I went to dance last night (as I do every week) because it’s usually my place to release stress and have fun. I knew I wouldn’t be able to move like usual, but I really let it get to me last night, with tears and all, keeping myself apart from the group. I guess I needed that. Once again, I saw it as two choices, just like with the mirror. I decided to move on, and surrender my situation. I was finally able to dance with everyone for the last few songs. As usual, Mike’s facilitation seemed to speak right to me, since he spoke of surrender, and allowing our bodies to move without effort. I so needed those words.

It always surprises me, but I am kind of grateful for my crooked back. Because of it, I have compassion for other people who can’t physically do what they feel they should be able to do. I am more grateful for my good days, when body feels strong. I am grateful for my children for keeping me from dwelling on my suffering.

If only I could be grateful for zits.

On a different note (how else do you segue from zits to music?), I have been listening to DiRTY RADiO non-stop for the last week. Once I hook onto something I like, I obsess and listen to it to death. Proud to say it’s Canadian music! Oh, and he can hit the high notes – why do I always love when guys can hit high notes??  I might have a little crush on him (yes, hubby knows about my crushes, it’s all good). Happy dancing!