Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hope List

There are things I still hope for. I looked at this beautiful wrapped white embroidery thread Celine brought me back from her last journey and gave me for my birthday. White thread always represents hope.

Hope keeps eluding me now. Something I am too tired for.

The life ceremony for Jessica Karen was today. She died days after Karl did. They burned notes for her in a fire. Memories and prayers and thoughts. Her Pire. Her Ghat. She did not survive inadequate medical treatment and the support system she was left with. She was mentally ill and withered away until her heart stopped. 36 years old. She was a magical thinker and a spiritual person who thought her thoughts would manifest themselves into the energies to change her terrible reality.

Karl died as well. He was a pragmatist who was a left-winger. He existed in the real that atheists do. Not always happy or ever magical. He had an amazing support system. He was loved until the end. His ceremony was a wake of sorts. Lots of music and memories.

Two deaths in two weeks. Both touched my life in a profound way.

The anniversary of Kate's death is in a few days. She was a magical thinker who refused cancer treatment until the end. She did everything alternatively and naturally and it didn't work. She invoked the spirits and they didn't come. Morphine was not enough.  Her daughter is just entering high school. I held Kate's mother during the burial and she panicked and we had to leave. Kate's drug addled and magical husband dressed her in an expensive sari and draped her in jewels. She was Macedonian and English after all. The children sang and played Irish music.

I thought about white cloth today. I once met a good looking man one day and asked questions about his white turban. I didn't know it meant he was a widower. He educated me about the colours of turbans and style and traditions. He was a teacher. His wife died of breast cancer and when he asked me what I had. I said the same. He cried and said I needed to be very brave from then on because it would be awful. And mostly it hasn't been. Not so great right now but she only had a few years and I have had more than 10.

I still need some hope to placate those around me. To stop them from crawling all over me in terror or abandoning me completely. I'm not really sure how to handle either. Or the grief of those whose loved ones have already died. I do not have an easy or a fluid statement that satisfies the spiritual ones without them mocking my reality. Atheists are not offered the same respect while they are dying. People who chose science as their answer are thought of as mistaken in our new Dark Age. There is the way. Fundamentalist and perfectionist. No sloppy chaos for those who are believers. No conclusions. No reality.

I had to remove a DNR. Do not resuscitate. For a little while longer. I nearly choked to death the other night. Too quick and easy for me.

Today I was well enough to get out of bed for awhile and Tim helped me into the car. We went and slept on the beach for nearly two hours. Soft cool ocean breeze. Summer heat. It was perfect comfort. Tomorrow I am back in the hospital. Or in my Vancouver bed.

I am here and they are not. For no reason at all. I can never say I understand. I wasn't supposed to survive my birth. But I did.

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