what little hope i have i hold for you

The mood has finally struck. This image came to my head a few days ago when I realized it’s been quite a bit since my last Emotia painting when I realized the last one was before Ronan was born. A lot of milestones have been reached since “I am Growing.” For example, I had a baby haha. But I’ve also had another surgery since then. I also finished grad school. And the love of my life is in one of his hardest periods since I’ve known him right now.

Ryan joked when I was talking about the feather that it was Emily Dickinson, but it is.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

Emily Dickinson

I’ve thought about this poem a lot since we analyzed it back in high school because we talked about how delicate and easily crushed it makes hope sound. But I’ve never understood that better than now as it seems my family is in a period where every time a new hope is born it gets blown away in a Gale.

So I’ve had to put it in a cage, and it makes it harder to reach, but it’s still there glowing softly in my chest.

I’m also a therapist now, and it’s been an interesting time to be holding brand new and grown up wounds for my clients in a period when a lot of new wounds have been cut in my family.

The other “interesting” dynamic to everything has been that honestly at least recently, the misfortune hasn’t been strictly my own but that of my loved one so I’ve had to explore to what extent I hold their pain as my own and how to navigate that space while establishing myself as a professional. FINALLY.

I am at my second job since graduating in May but it’s been feeling really good and hopeful at Oak Ridge as a straight-up therapist. Someone said something to Ryan about friends from work for me and I was like ah no, I have neither friends nor enemies at work and it’s great. I show up, work, and go home. And the work is helping people navigate their own labyrinths and that feels great as well. I have some really wonderful clients who have really connected with me.

Anyway, as for the other imagery in the new Emotia, the Ronan tattoo is pretty self explanatory. I wanted to incorporate him in this painting since for Ryan and I both, he’s been a steady source of joy and togetherness. He had some bad Two weeks when he got sick for the first time after starting daycare, but aside from that it’s been a true privilege to watch him grow and learn.

Ah yes, and my leg. After a year and a month I still have nerve damage and regular nerve pain as well as chronic back pain from my herniated disc. Yes the cyst was traumatizing and Ronan’s birth with the C-section were traumatizing but not anywhere near how devastating my back injury was. Not only in its effect on my day to day life, but its lasting impact and to what extent it made me question my own strength and my body’s ability to carry on. The lightning looks pretty dope though huh.

Honestly this Emotia kind of created itself. The idea came about yesterday and I worked on it throughout the day and into today without much hesitation. I’m not sure it’s necessarily quite as refined as some of the otehrs but the symbolism is all there and the art is the quality I wanted it to be.

And with that, here’s all the earlier ones! Most recent to the oldest.

Endure
February 2016

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