The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: May 3, 2002

Surgery Memory pastels 25 x 31.5 inches 1994

"Surgery Memory"
This drawing grew out of an image/experience that happened during therapy, about one year after my surgery. I experienced what I felt was the release of my body's subconscious memory of the surgery. While working on this drawing, I was able to confront and acknowledge the pain, loss and change that had occurred to and in my body, and to help integrate it into my life so that I could move on.

Resolution: Coming to Terms charcoal 22 x 31 inches 1994

"Resolution: Coming to Terms"
Because of the inner work that had occurred while working on the drawings that preceded this one, there appears to me to be a confidence, strength, and resolve conveyed here that I had not been able to access earlier in this process.

Through this work I found that, when one heals, there is a shift of attitude: a subtle or larger change in the way that one sees one's self in relation to the world. In my experience, that change comes to us when we can look clearly at the situation or disease, acknowledge it, get to know it intimately, not shy away from it. In getting closer to it, we become more powerful.

Each step that I have taken in this process has brought me closer to this confrontation with the disease. The act of making these marks on paper -- of my arm moving vigorously or tenderly to give clear expression of what I am perceiving internally as well as through my eyes -- pulls energy up from deep inside. The act of doing this has helped bring a sense of resolution, gratitude, and healing to my life.

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