So, I was in the waiting room of the Kaiser Medical Center Cardiac Unit in Roseville, California waiting for my sweetie to meet with his Cardiologist. We got there plenty early because it's kind of a drive for us and we didn't want to take any chances on being late. We were there before the staff started seeing patients so the waiting room was full of patients and their companions. Arriving extra early gave me plenty of time to sit and do nothing. Nothing, that is except let my mind wander. I noticed that Kaiser had put a lot of money into art throughout their building. The Cardiac department, however, had taken it upon themselves to add heart bunting all around their reception desk. It feels like Valentine's Day all year long in the waiting room. All of their handmade signs are also heart shaped.
The longer I sat, the more I started to notice that the people waiting for their appointments were a very varied group. Old, young, male, female... Large people and tiny people... Every nationality seemed to be represented. That made me think of all the different problems people have that bring them to a cardiology wing. That thought led me to thinking about broken hearts and how very painful that is... And mental illness can feel like heart trouble with panic attacks and crippling anxiety...
That's when the paper hearts hanging all around came together with the pain of illness, heartache, and mental anguish. This thought carried me through to the process of getting well and, finally, overcoming all these challenges. Starting with pain, fear, anxiety, doing the sometimes difficult work of healing, and finally walking out of the other side somehow more whole than when the ordeal started... I started creating the "Mended Hearts" in my imagination before we were even called back to see the doctor.
Each of the "Mended Hearts" explores pain, healing, and/or recovery. I'm pretty happy with this first 12 but I still have ideas for more rattling around in my head. As it happens, the next series is already starting to take form in my imagination and I will need to bringing that into the world pretty soon...
I've submitted three pieces to a juried show and should hear if they got in by the middle of July, 2015. I'll update the blog to let you know how that went.
I hope you enjoy the series and would love to hear how they make you feel.