|"Alejandro/a swiftly tilting planet." by Hilary J. England 18" x 24" oil on harwood panel|
It's been a while since I have posted...that monster "depression" had reared it's ugly head, and I found myself too listless and too resistant to blog. I forced myself to continue painting, to continue to ponder, to force myself forward, and that was a titanic battle in itself.
My sister in law Susan died last week of ovarian cancer...not my sister in law Nicole, who battles on in hospice against her brain cancer, but Mark's sister, who was just one week shy of her 47th birthday. She fell ill last year over the holidays while visiting us. One night, she didn't come down for supper, which was uncharacteristic of her, since she was a vibrant, jolly, good-natured woman, and enjoyed socializing over dinner. Barb, my mother-in-law, questioned whether she may have a stomach flu, and since it was the season, we all agreed. Mark and I then went off to Paris a few days later, and they went on their way back to Florida.
But, before Susan could make it home, she was beset by a pain so terrible, they had to stop in South Carolina and bring her to an Emergency Room. Here, it was discovered she had Stage 4 ovarian cancer, and she began her short, but torturous battle. She had massive surgery, many complications, and ultimately, by August of this year, the cancer had spread throughout her lungs, and she was deemed "terminal." Mark flew out to Florida on September 23rd, as she was not expected to live for more than a few more days; she was on a ventilator against her wishes, and they were going to remove her from it. They did, on September 25th, and she lived valiantly for a few hours, and then went on to eternity...
That very day, as we waited anxiously for news from Florida, during that timeless, breathless wait of three hours, my niece, Nicole, was born in Los Angeles. Firstborn for my sister and her husband, they named her in tribute of my ailing sister in law Nicole, and in New York, from her sickbed, she wept tears of joy when they held the phone with the baby's newborn picture up to her face. It was such an overwhelming day for me...
In the midst of this, we were suffering on a different front at home. My daughter Noelle was dealing with some very severe bullying issues in school, and she was, as were we all, completely bowled over by the enormous tension of these bullies relentlessly sending death threats on her telephone, Facebook page, etc., while we were going through these events of life and death. It got so bad, and the school administration refused cooperation, that we had to withdraw her from school, and enroll her in a charter school.
This large tidal wave of events had knocked me down, rolled me, nearly drowned me...nearly, but not quite. I leaned heavily on prayers and just the knowledge that this storm will pass, as all storms do. I found myself washed up on shore...scraped and bruised, but not drowned.
This painting was done in the midst of all of this turmoil. It's called, "Alejandro/on a swiftly tilting planet." It is a summary of the pain and isolation Noelle felt, we all felt, during this time. Noelle and her friend had found a dying mouse on the sidewalk, and in their youthful thinking, felt they would save it. Apparently, it had been mauled by a local cat, and abandoned. It lay, gasping and crushed, in the kitchen towel they wrapped it in. After several hours, they had refused to give up, and so did the little mouse.
But, it was apparent it was dying, and I caught them just at the moment of his death...They were confused, and angry at why they couldn't save him. It was a moment of lost innocence, and they had looked at me with hurtful, blazing eyes, for an explanation, one I could not give them...I could only tell them, "this is life, fair and unfair, seemingly without rhyme or reason, but in the end, we will know all things, we will know why. It may seem a long time to wait, but patience is a very necessary virtue, since if you have patience, you can endure to the end, without bitterness."
I painted them against the backdrop of a tilted, broken garage door, which I felt added to the confusion and vertigo they were feeling about being confronted with death, the only amount their young minds could grasp at this point.
So, this is the first in my series, surrounding the passage of innocent youth. "Alejandro" is 18" x 24" oil on hardwood panel, gallery wrapped.
hilary j england paintings