You need a safe place to rest, to vent, to express yourself and your truth, a place to be challenged and to laugh.
I have a rare kidney disease called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclorosis, or FSGS for short. I was diagnosed Feb. 2006 and started dialysis March 2007.
In and out of the hospital, all sorts of procedures and surgeries, all sorts of being out of sorts.
Until I received a kidney transplant on September 20, 2010.
Living with a rare disease forces you to stop and question. Question your health, your relationships, your faith, etc.
My safe haven was and still is hope and art. My medicine, which has kept me somewhat sane.
What Is Hope And Your Art Saying To You?
Hope said to me don't become comfortable being sick. You are not your disease. Hope said you have value and worth and something to offer. (Well, not just hope but, my therapist, my mom, my friends, my church, comic books, etc.) Hope said just because you are sick it doesn't mean you have to stay single. Hope is real chatty, I had to make the decision to listen.
Art said this is what you can do to connect. To not isolate or to not numb. To cultivate a relationship with other people, with God, with myself. Art said get out of your apartment and go do something good.
Hope and art are speaking to you. When life becomes ridiculous and you feel tired. So tired of being stressed…or alone…or being sick…or feeling you are existing but not really living…or plain tired of being sick and tired.
Yeah, I hear you. I feel your frustration, Lord knows I’m right there with you.
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” -Rumi
You want to a change, something more. Something better. A change that means something.
My wife and I started this project called Hope : Artists to do just that. We both have worked in psychology for many years. And we’ve both had our fair share of illness, gut-wrenching pain, loss and loneliness. But our pain and your pain is never wasted. We can use our mess to create a message. Our pain into poetry. Our sickness into hope for someone else.
And yeah I get it, hope sounds so…”that’s nice.” When Google had it’s keyword tool up and running, I researched and hope was the number 2 most googled word. Behind love.
You are not alone. A community invested in lifting each other up so we can engage in the art of being human. It takes guts and grit to have hope. The fact you are reading this says
You have fought many battles, gone through so much rough…stop and think of how strong you really are. Sure, you probably aren’t going to jump out of a plane today. But maybe getting out of bed and engaging in your day or with someone else is just as scary and risky and uncertain. And you are doing it.
Inspiration For A Purpose
We want you to have a safe place to rest, be inspired and encouraged, to help you work through your health, your relationships, your faith as we work through our stuff...and things. And then go and "be a rainbow in someone else's cloud" with your art.
What is a hope : artist? Someone who goes deeper into their own stuff to connect to other people, God, and themselves.
Art isn’t only a painting or drawing. Art is how we connect. My art is poetry, writing, music, laughter, listening, and compassion. Your art could be graphic design or cooking or knitting, or being a parent, or fundraising, etc.
Art isn’t only your profession. Art is what you naturally do, the gift you give to the world. And the world needs you. All of your mess, all of your tragedy, all of your beauty, all of your triumphs.
There are enough voices telling you a narrative of how horrible you are and how bad the world is. To those voices and the ones in your head we say:
Shhh...you are amazing!
Come and see...
Written by: Jermaine Jay Lane
Photo: via Compfight
PS: The "be a rainbow" quote is from Dr. Maya Angelou.