Art & Design
Such are the thoughts that are popping into my head during the first sessions of radiation therapy - apart from the occasional "What the hell is that whirring machine DOING behind my head when I'm not looking?!". Not to fear, Bruce Banner got nothin' on me.
In the meantime I've started the largest pen & ink project to date: "Miz Manhattan", roughly sized 2' x 6'. As the therapy is progressing, I am hoping to finish it in the coming six weeks. Appropriately so, since it is the time allotted for the said radiation therapy and this piece is directly linked to it. Posting some images from the process, hopefully there will be updates shortly. CJ
After my relatively easy brush with pre-cancer surgery it is only now that I fully realize that this will, nevertheless, change my outlook on life, possibly in ways I cannot yet predict. At this point I cannot do much but embrace the evolution and see where it leads - as so many other people do every year with similar and graver circumstances.
And what better way to do that than starting sketches for another transformation-themed drawing, and for good measure I'll throw in Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis and other stories". It always strikes me that Gregor's first reactions to turning into an insect are mainly concerning the impracticality of movement, having over-slept and the resulting complications being late for work. Such a very typically "German" mindset! CJ
As the surgery day is quickly approaching I am fully appreciating the support from friends and family - and the newly rediscovered doodle mania hitchhiking piggyback on the contemplative time spent preparing. This will only be a small procedure compared to many cancer patients who are forced to deploy much harsher methods and more rigorous following therapy because of the more aggressive cancers and later stages. In this as in many other things I've been fairly lucky so far - although this will be the hardest ounce of weight I'll have shed yet by a long shot.
Still, it's hard not to feel like the proverbial deer in the headlights - with all the diagnostics, appointments and information keeping on coming. It's just a hard pill to swallow, after all I was (in appearance) the healthiest person anywhere just a month ago. Which leads me into one important advice to give: Get your routine check-ups done, ladies and gents! True, mammograms, dermatologist check-ups and prostrate exams can only detect a fraction of the varieties of cancers or other afflictions - but why not do the routine ones that are easily available and now mostly free thanks to the health care improvements? One thing is for certain: I definitely wouldn't have known anything about the malignant cells for quite some time to come if it hadn't been for the routine check-up. By which time they might have might have hailed with an entirely different and more serious status update. If these tests are available to you - go do it! Rant end, see y'all after the surgery. CJ
It's always curious to me how a year's end or beginning jostles folks to hasty reflections of their life. The sheer power of numbers on a calender seems like the panic button to rattle about time lost, goals not reached yet, bucket lists dragged out from last New Year without any new check marks added...
Why is it that we humans in general have such a hard time getting things done if there isn't a constant reminder, threat, or reward looming? Well, if you're anything like me then you suffer from the crippling affliction of always taking on more than I should - projects to help others, good causes, but rarely do I consciously heap on activities and projects that are actually just good and relaxing for me. The constant need to help and be of service to others is probably not inherently a bad thing (sure hope not) but it is not always a sustainable life philosophy to live by.
A Revival of the "Daily Doodles"
P.S.: On another bright note: Another one of the pen & ink drawings has been taken in by a friend: "Death coming to Tea". It is always gratifying to find a home for my drawings and paintings - after all, even though I enjoy their company, it can get a bit crowded with all of them in our apartment.
I started this drawing the week of the RAW show, finally I had the time to finish it beginning of the month. It is mostly cross-hatch pen drawing, with a wash of ink between the roots and the top leaves.
It is a 14"x17" full size version of the doodle sketch "Interconnectivity" from last year, initially inspired by the design project I worked on for Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods. The amazing dedication and work they put into this reforestation project and business will be an interesting venture to watch for the future. And I can't wait to make the time and visit this new and growing forest. Aloha! CJ
Art in Hawaii
Living in Hawaii is an inspiring experience, both artistically and spiritually.