Sunday, June 29, 2008

Snake and the Rule Book

Yes, it's a recurring theme in my life -- see Breaking the Rules if you need any kind of history here. Or, if you want more information you can read Truth about my struggles creating this piece. I worked on this piece for a long time. As I mentioned, there were both logistical/mechanical challenges as well as emotional ones.

Here's the other part.

On May 19, just as I was almost finished with this piece, my cousin was diagnosed with very advanced lung cancer. Somehow I managed to grab some time in my art studio between doctor's appointments, the emergency room, ICU, and vigilant advocacy at the hospital. I finished this piece shortly before she died on June 6.

We were very close, saying we were cousins and sisters (although I began to fear people would take us literally and really wonder about our family.) I was "her person" holding her hand throughout her illness. You can see her memorial video on YouTube.

Pain and grief are still very fresh right now so I can't completely articulate this, but I know her passing and this piece are connected. Snake teaches me to transmute, shed my skin, and embrace the power of fire. It's no mistake, ironic as it may seem right now, that the woman is smiling on the burnt pages of the rule book.

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