Wednesday, September 23, 2015

ending / beginning, or: steps, birds, 1 year, and the background work

Today is the last of the cure days for me. It’s a day of finalities: the last breathing session. The last lunch here. The last walk around the walk.

This morning, I stood in my room, and then started to pack the largest and at the same time most fragile things: my paintings. The ones I created here, in the “Malraum”. The final one is the one above, the one I almost skipped after I painted the background in green/blue. While it was drying, I added the finishing touches to a mandala-like painting, and then felt: that would be a good point to end.

It was the talk with a fellow patient who was painting that brought me back to the green and blue. “Didn’t you work on another one when I saw you earlier?” she asked. “What happened to that?” – “It is just a background,” I explained.

And so my focus shifted to it again. Now I am glad for it. The green/blue one, in the end, it turned into a kind of symbol for the time here: the open horizon, the freshness of the fields, the blue of the birds that sail the sky together for a while. Like we are doing here, my fellow patients and I. The birds, they also connect to the flock of gathering migrating birds I saw last week, close to the “Rohrsee”. I went there once more, but they are gone now. Which fits with the mood of this time: coming and going. The last two days were a lot about goodbyes, as the people I was close here now leaving one after another. And tomorrow it will be me who is leaving.

I hope and plan to bring some of this cure-time-feeling back home, to integrate it into my home world. Just like the painting, which will now move back home with me. Like on a journey, the coming-back probably is the most difficult step: the three weeks of cure stay, as long as it seems, is basically the grounding work for the time to come now. I made some steps towards feeling fitter and better, but it’s still a long way until I am as fit and healthy how I used to be. “It takes about 1 year until all effects of chemo and radiation have faded”, that is the rough number the docs estimate. And of the the “antsy” feeling of the nerves, it might take up to 3 years. “So patience and persistence is the key,” that’s the other main advice. Also: “Listen to your body. Trust your feeling.”

So seen like that, the time here is a bit like creating the background color and the ground mood for the time to come now.

So. Two more hours, then it’s the dinner time. And then, for my final evening, we will go into a concert: in a lovely coincidence, there’s a live event in the big church of Waldsee this evening – in the very church that is the highlight of the skyline here.

Another fitting twist: I arrived on a sunny day, and now it’s rain for goodbye. There even is first snow in the Alps. While here, seasons changed from late summer to fall. But tomorrow, the sun is supposed to return. Together with my return home.

1 comment:

Jean said...

I love your painting - the beautiful colours, the horizon line and the echo between the birds in flight and the shape of the hillocks in the foreground. And, oh, what a resonant moment to finish your cure and leave: the equinox. Hope you can take the same deep, gentle care of yourself in the time to come as you did in painting your picture.