February 13

My Beautiful Lungs

Tonight I’ll be attending an art opening at the Oak Park Art League. In the show that opens tonight, Color of Passion, is a fiber art piece of mine entitled My Beautiful Lungs, pictured in the photo above. I made it several years ago as art therapy, truth be told. I wanted to re-think the way I’ve thought about my lungs because asthma and respiratory complications have dominated my entire life. After one week in the ICU, three months of being bed-ridden with breathing problems and surgery to reduce respiratory infections I made My Beautiful Lungs as an expression of my fantasy that my airways would always be open and my lung tissue would always be healthy. As I pounded open each of the 350 grommets representing my airways, there were a lot of tears shed. Lots of suffering. Lots of loss. Chronic illnesses take no vacations and most are not visible to anyone who runs into you in the grocery store.

I love this piece and the optimism it represents for me. It’s the first, and probably only, time it will ever hang in a public space and I hope it will inspire others to channel the loss and suffering in their lives into something beautiful. The show will hang for a month. If you are in the Oak Park area I hope you’ll come see it. I will be at the Opening Reception tonight from 7-9pm. Please come and join me for some lovely art and a few deep breaths.