Weekly Photo Challenge: Out of this World

Seeing a flare to its end (or what I hope is the end anyway) is a feeling truly out of this world!

After being stuck in the tunnel for so long, to finally see some light at the end, is a delightful feeling.

Featured image: Creation, oil on 18X24″ canvas (available)

And yet I struggle with the thought that this is as good as it’s ever going to get. For everyone else, life expands, they incorporate more and more experiences as they move forward. And I am happy if it simply doesn’t contract any more! I move forward too, but always against the wind, and always aware of the limitations.

And yet, as a human being, we register differences in condition more than so than the absolute value of it. This means that despite all the limits placed on me, my instant reaction is one of pure joy, an expansion of consciousness, to realize that I am improving from a worse-off state. That what I am improving to is what most people would consider “lazying” bothers me only when I think about it in more intellectual terms, ignoring my emotional reaction to it.

I realize that my initial happiness is only dampened because I still compare my state to that of other healthy people my age. I compare it to what I used to be at one time, what I remember feeling like but haven’t felt like in a long time. But with a chronic condition like fibromyalgia, my world now spins at a different speed than it does for others my age, than it would have for me if I hadn’t developed this condition. It is not fair to compare apples to oranges.

I have learned to see that slowed spin rate on neutral terms — it has some good and some bad, just like there would have been had my world kept revolving faster. But sometimes I can’t help but feel that the existence of the difference itself is somehow mocking.

At one time, I thought I was closer to accepting my situation. And I was, but only under the circumstances I had grown comfortable in. As my circumstances changed, I realized I am on this journey anew.

Ever reaching for the light . . . thinking I feel its warmth . . . but then my world takes another spin, and I am back in the dim, reaching for the light again.

The painting in the featured image explores many of these emotions that expand through time and space. I am sure everyone has something they are struggling with, where they feel they are locked in a tunnel, and are forever reaching for the light. I think of that when I feel I am fighting an unfair battle, and try to not feel so alone in it. I try to think of the progress I am making, and remind myself to simply breathe.

Perhaps the important thing is not to win the battle, but simply to keep fighting it, and fighting it well. And all the while allowing yourself to feel the joy of small victories, however small they may be, just to feel like it’s not all in vain.




Each painting has a story, one that I strive to tell here. Since many of them have to do with my journey with fibromyalgia, a fraction of the sales from my paintings will go to the American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association (AFSA), who fund research into this poorly understood condition. If the paintings and/or the cause touch your heart, as they do mine, please feel free to contact me here or through my Facebook page for more information. Thank you for accompanying me on this journey!

5 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Out of this World

  1. I think it’s marvelous that creativity is one of your ways of coping with your illness…anyone who can add so much beauty to the the world…(Sorry, I have the hell of a headache and i’m not as coherent as I would like…)

    Anyway, I want to tell you I know exactly what you mean! And I have to keep reminding myself that Shakespeare (I’m a Shakespeare nerd) said that comparisons are odious, for a good reason. But I do exactly what you do, all of the time-I compare myself primarily to friends and former classmates my age, and the healthy ones, not the ones I know who also have chronic illness, or other kinds of battles to fight.
    We’re not very kind to ourselves, are we?
    As I write this, though, I am thinking that perhaps a more pertinent question to ask is who do I admire, and why? And then I realize that all of the women I admire have been through some kind of really awful shit, and become tougher, kinder, more loving. And I think, I’m going to concentrate on being more like them.
    And more like you, my friend. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are too kind Barbara! Thank you so much! It means a lot to me, especially coming from a creative artist as yourself, whom I admire very much. ❤ I am so sorry about your headache. I hope you can get that under control somehow. Those things can get maddening! 😦

      You are right, we definitely aren't very kind to ourselves. Sometimes when I feel low, I think I seek out another who has exactly what I don't – but wish for- even though I know I have a ton of good things in my life that they don't, you know? Almost like it's a way of berating myself even further, you know? But you are so right! We should be focusing on being more like those we admire, who have gone through struggles and come out at the other end stronger and better people. In fact, that's the best idea I have heard yet to combat the "comparison-envy"! Thanks so much for sharing that with me!! 🙂


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