Tag Archives: dying

The Journal of Dreams 01/23/2010

I was just thinking about calling my mother…she’s dead.  She died in 2006 unexpectantly.  I don’t know how many times I thought about calling her since then.  The day she died, I was living in Philadelphia and had been sick for 2 days, the flu or something and really bad laryngitis.  Feeling as though I couldn’t sleep anymore, and got up to start painting a picture for my daughter; the one I promised her for the past several years.  There was a specific photo of her I had in mind where she was wearing a velvet, olive-green, 1940’s short hat-the kind that just sits on the top of the head without sides and has mesh over the eyes to the lips.

I had started with the lips because I knew the detail of the mesh would be hard to do without messing it up.  Her painted red lips where a stark contrast to the olive-green of her eyes and the hat.  About 3/4 of the way through the lips I realized it was not that photo I had painted, it was someone else’s lips.  I continued to paint thinking I will paint my daughter’s painting after finishing this stranger I had found myself mysteriously painting.  I started thinking about the lips my mother used to put on napkins and give to us as children by pressing her painted lips against the soft paper.  They were kisses that were captured forever on the napkin that we could keep in our drawers, or books, or any place we wanted-forever.

The lips had evolved into almost the entire canvas, not leaving room for any other parts of the face.  I remember sitting there, smoking a cigarette, looking at the lips when the phone rang.  It was my father and he said:  “I don’t want you to crack up or anything but your mother is dead.”  I just kept saying:  “I know, I know, I know.”  I didn’t cry or feel shock.  I don’t remember what we said next, I just remember staring at the lips I had just painted.  Sometime after we hung up I realized I had starred at the lips for a while, wondering if my mother suffered at all and what exactly happened.  Then I realized I had been painting her lips at the moment she died…the kiss on the napkin that got bigger and bigger.

She was telling me goodbye through the skill that she had taught me, to paint.  She knew my great passion for painting and how more appropriate could it have been?  I named the painting:  MARY ANN’S LAST KISS and it rest comfortably in my private collection along with the other very special paintings which were given to me as gifts although painted by my hand.  Holy Mary is one-read about her on the home page and how she came to be at:  www.therevelationpainting.com.  The world is odd, things that happen are odd and I love these mysteries.  I miss my mother but know that she had a promise to fulfill for the time she was given.  If there is a God, he would not have let her leave if he thought she would not return.  She had an angel’s work to do.

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The Journal of Dreams 01/08/2010

There is no time to do much before work except smoke cigarettes, drink coffee, and stare at the black horse.  I think he has way too much hair and the major screw up here is that the hair crosses over all four canvases right at their joints (the cross in the middle where they all connect).  That means I have to apply the hair across all four canvases and make sure it is totally dry, then cut it so very straight between the canvases.  If the edge where the hair is becomes rubbed on something, it will rip off.  What a horrid mistake!

I called my old father and we had a conversation about it.  Life really makes people wise (sometimes).  He can always think of an answer.  One day I’ll pick up the phone to call him for an answer and he won’t be there anymore, just like my mother who died in 2006.  I don’t know how many times I thought about picking up the phone and calling her.  Ironically she died because she received a double dose of insulin in a place where she should have been safe.  I was the only one who did not attend her funeral, I could not trust myself.  The anger was too strong.

It could be a moment of wondering if I had it all to do over again, what would I change but I cannot think that I would change much.  Self preservation blankets me and I avoid relationships, friends, family, or anything which has the ability to destroy me.  When I paint this painting I wonder if my mother was the nurturing vessel which brought me to this point in life.  Evaluating her life, I do not know of any other achievement that could top it.  Am I her destiny and what it was all for?

There are a lot of skeletons in our families closets, a lot of damage was done and time healed some of the wounds.  I have 4 novels I have worked on about these skeletons.  When I write, my grand imagination lets me see it like a movie in my mind.  I feel the warm, summer night air, smell the neighborhood, hear the music and see the moon glisten in the distance.  Pulling from memories is a wonderful thing in creation, like the Interference Blue’s mimic of moonlight…wonderful.

All my life, as far back as I can remember there was a silent traveler with me which as an adult I called: A Sense of Sadness.  When I was 32 my mother handed me a book of poetry I wrote when I was 12 and every poem in it was about death or dying.  It was a shocking Revelation for me because I had wondered often times when the sadness really began and why.  I couldn’t believe it had been at that early of an age and to have written about it then, it originated earlier.

In analyzing how I could have possibly known anything about death at that age, I could not remember any instance.  No one near me had died, none of my friends family members had died and to this day, I still cannot remember how it started.  The similarity of my mother dying at 12 and returning to tell the tale made me wonder about dreams, memories and how we protect ourselves from psychological pain by forgetting.  I wonder…

The Journal of Dreams 01/03/2010

I work at night, thirteen hours in a very fast paced and busy emergency room.  I have been a nurse longer than I have been a painter.  Sadness overwhelms me often times when caring for sick people.  There was a time in my life when I had no respect for life, drove my car 168 miles an hour, tested destiny and lived like there was no tomorrow.  It was during that time I attempted to sketch The Revelation Painting several times and finally came to the solid conclusion that I had not earned the right.

After becoming a nurse I went straight into the critical care and emergency areas.  It was high paced, high stress, and in dealing with life and death on a daily basis, after five years my respect for life changed.  I found myself telling people how stupid it was to drive a car over the speed limit.  Images of torn and broken bodies were stamped into my memories and I had become a changed person.  It was also during this time I began having episodes where I would go blind for 30 minutes at a time.

Stress was taking a toll on me.  The blindness was induced by migraines without the immediate pain, at least until the next day where 1/2 of my brain felt as though it had been crushed!  During this time I began to gain weight and my signature even changed.  When a person’s signature changes, it is considered a major life event.  I had not even thought about The Revelation Painting for several years, favoring writing poetry, learning to paint independently and planning to publish a book.

The truth of the matter was that I knew Nursing was not what I wanted to grow old doing.  I began searching for a way out.  I thought that travel nursing would give me an opportunity to find a place where I felt at home as a nurse, where I could back off of the high stress, go back to school and move forward instead of breaking my back, not sleeping well, smoking more, not managing my finances, essentially living like a life-saving zombie.  I was saving everyone but killing myself.

At work one night I was in a hurry and didn’t know how to use a piece of equipment.  I was taking care of a full blown, dying HIV patient and through my own ignorance ran a needle full of blood all the way up my index finger.  It did not penetrate my finger but I was closer to dying than ever in my careless life and I recognized it.  I came home and when I went to bed, I prayed and thanked God for the first time in my life that day.

When I woke up the memories of Revelation were fresh on my mind for the first time in a long, long time.  I saw the creatures with eyes all over their wings clearer than I ever had.  I sat down and sketched them and they were perfect!  That was the awakening of a sleeping dream and when the painting rekindled the passion for it in my heart.  Beginning to look ahead and into the future, I began working on plans for the painting.  I had finally earned the right and I knew it.