Saturday, February 21, 2009

The brain is wider than the sky

Rosie the Cat can't even believe you're real. Are you real?

Tonight, Blisschick and I are having dinner with some wonderful people at Miss Kitty's house. Miss Kitty is a Children's Librarian at the library where I work and perhaps the best chef on the planet. Seriously. She could give any of those newly famous chefs a run for their money if you ask me.

One of the people who will be at Miss Kitty's diner party tonight is our good friend Ken. Ever since we met Ken, he's been battling cancer. What started as colon cancer went to his lungs and also to his brain.

The most amazing thing about Ken is that he never gives up. He travels. He lunches. He creates. He loves his life. He has his ups and his downs like all of us would, but his downs never keep him down.

It's why he's lived so long and so well against all the odds. If you saw him right now, you wouldn't even know there was anything going on with him. Amazing.

Ken is also an artist. He paints and he decorates like nobody's business. When he told me that he liked my art, I was thrilled. It meant a lot to me. And what painting was his favorite?

This bunny.

I love this bunny, too. It's not a bunny whom I know. It's just a bunny that I had sort of a vision of and whom I subsequently painted. When Ken liked that bunny so very much, I knew that was why I had painted him.

For Ken.

Next time we went over to have dinner with Ken and his wife, Debbie, we took the bunny painting. Of course, Ken had just the right antique frame for him.

A couple of months ago, when Ken was anticipating brain surgery to remove a tumor, I was inspired to paint him a brain. I had been reading about and running into the idea of milagros for some time by then, and it just seemed like the right thing to do. I had to paint this brain for him.

Brain Milagro for Ken

The idea behind this brain was to help Ken to focus on healing thoughts about his brain. To focus his intentions on the part that needed it. That's the whole point of milagros or ex votos or talismans or whatever you may want to call them. They are a tool to help you focus your thoughts, prayers, or intentions.

I have to say it felt a little weird to send someone a picture of a brain. I wasn't sure how Ken would react. To many people, it is kind of weird. Paintings of body parts? But they serve a function.

And Ken and Debbie used to live in New Orleans. Nothing is weird to them. :)

Ken actually framed the brain and then hung it near to the bunny painting and linked them together with a chain. Something about that is very special.

Brain II, The Sequel: A Brain Pendant

Soon after, I made another brain, this time a pendant, for a friend whose brother was recently operated on for a brain tumor. She mentioned many times to me how that brain pendant somehow comforted her and somehow helped her to think more positively. Her brother, who is a mathematician, is recovering quite well at this point with no adverse affects so far. Cool.

Miss Zoe thinks that focusing on her cute belly
will help you feel generally better in all ways.
She's probably right.
She also said it works even better
if you give her a banana chip and then focus on her belly.
I'll have to try it.


We leave you today with this thoughtful poem from Emily Dickinson:

CXXVI

THE BRAIN is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.

The brain is deeper than the sea,
For, hold them, blue to blue,
The one the other will absorb,
As sponges, buckets do.

The brain is just the weight of God,
For, lift them, pound for pound,
And they will differ, if they do,
As syllable from sound.

Zoe and I hope your dinner tonight is as good as ours is going to be. Good friends and good food. You just can't beat it.

6 comments:

Jennifer Hugon said...

My smile is so broad right now. What a wonderful post! I believe that the power of the mind is vast and limitless...

... and that Zoe is correct. Bunny bellies (and kitty bellies for that matter) have general healing properties. With or without banana chips ;)

(btw, kitty toes also have a similar ability to lift ones spirits)

Connie said...

I love this post Marcy. I love when others realize and experience the magical part of Art...I love that your Art is an actual seizing of that magic into pigment and form. I love that...and, I have to share something too. Hansel's Mom had brain cancer almost two years ago. It looked pretty grim at the time...but she sounds a lot like your friend Ken, and she just believes so deeply in the energy of life and loves so deeply...but, when she was diagnosed and all through her hard treatment...I constantly painted her paintings of brains also. There's nothing weird to it at all. I really feel that my paintings helped in her healing....there is incredible power in Art. There really is.

Peace & Love.

svasti said...

What a beautiful story. Your friend Ken inspires me - right now I've just been laid off from my job, and honestly, I see no reason to complain when people like Ken just keep on trucking.

I love the bunny and brain paintings and the brain keyring. I don't think its weird at all to paint body parts. The brain is meant to be the largest sex organ of them all! ;)

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Paul in Tucson said...

A lovely piece of art. One of my friends has started circulating your milagro on Facebook as a show of support for our congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Again, totally awesome.