Saturday, July 2, 2011

Shingles and Studio Time

It has been quite a while since I had time to make an entry here. It seems the month of June flew by. Towards the end of the month I was diagnosed with a nasty case of shingles and have been placed on bed-rest, so to speak, with plenty of medications including anti-viral and pain meds.  I am not going to detail what I have been going through with my own journey with shingles here. If you are interested in more information, here is a great blog about the journey of a shingles patient:

Let me just add one thought. If you are over 50, had chicken pox as a child, but have never had shingles, see your family doctor about getting the vaccine developed to prevent shingles. It is well worth the expense to avoid the pain.

During the month of June I was working in the studio making Anglican Prayer Beads.  Anglican Prayer Beads are a relatively new form of prayer, blending the Orthodox Jesus Prayer Rope and the Roman Catholic Rosary. The thirty-three bead design was created by the Rev. Lynn Bauman in the mid-1980s, through the prayerful exploration and discovery of a contemplative prayer group.


I have been involved in making sets of Anglican Prayer Beads for ten years now. If you are interested in more detailed instructions on how these beads are use in prayer, please see see The King of Peace website. 

Prior to coming down with shngles, I had set up my dremel tools and was preparing to make wooden book covers for some manuscript books I have designed. I use the dremel tools to drill holes in the spine and covers for binding the books. These projects will be on hold until I can be active in the studio again. It was wonderful to find all my dremel tool parts, including the workstation and router handle, when we unpacked some boxes in the garage.

During the month of June I continued to have my good friends Rhonda and Nora over to the house for lessons in Watercolour Drawing and Painting.  Since we arrived in Deep River I had several dreams about both of them painting watercolours and making greeting cards. Both claimed to have no artistic ability whatsoever, but finally agreed to come and have a few lessons. It has been great fun and I will miss them during my recovery time in the next few weeks.

As I am recovering from this nasty bout of shingles, it is very difficult to rest and not work in the studio, or the garden. However, I realize if I do not rest and follow doctors orders, I could end up with some serious and long term nerve damage and pain issues, so I am going to rest and catch up on my reading. I also have a pile of magazines to go through to cut out images for future collage work, so between the reading and magazines, I should be able to keep myself resting.

One very important thing this illness has brought to me is how thankful I am for my health and the ability to work in my studio. We take things for granted sometimes-like being able to run up and down stairs, or spend hours in one position making art. When that ability is taken from you for a short period of time, you begin to count your blessings during prayer with added intensity. I don't like being sedentary, either physically or intellectually, however, I do see God's wisdom in slowing me down for a bit. I need to pay more attention to my overall physical well being, getting better regular exercise, as well as rest, and my nutrition also needs a look in as well. Maintaining our physical bodies is important if we are going to nurture out spirit and creative verve as we age. This bout with shingles has brought all of this to the front of my thinking process, so to speak.

As I rest and reflect, and work on getting well, I will continue to sketch out more artist's book projects for the coming months. I will continue to share with you when I can my progress on both my recovery, and my studio work.

All will be well, and all will be well, and with the grace and wisdom of God, all will be well.