Thursday, September 22, 2022

Fall Equinox Meditation / Fearless and asymmetrical mandala series / You didn't do anything wrong

This September has been an odd month for my body.  It began, as all Septembers do, with the  anniversary of traumatic events that occurred when I was almost 5 years old, coinciding with the birth of my youngest sister on September 4, 1954.  For many years in early September, I would come down with an upper respiratory cold that would take hold of me and not let go for weeks.  It didn't occur to me then than this might be a trauma reaction.  

For many years now, I have been free of upper respiratory illness in September as well as the rest of the year.   In late August, though, my eyes began to itch for no reason that I could determine.  On September 5, the first stye of my life developed in my right eye.  My eyelid was red and swollen and painful to the touch.  I went to the doctor, thinking it was a chalazion, and was told it was a stye and was given erythromycin eye ointment which eventually cleared it up.  

A few days later I had a painful flare of lower back pain, after seven months without any flares.  Both of those issues resolved and then I began having bouts of sneezing.  In the last few days I have had a runny nose with intermittent sneezing but no other symptoms.  Thinking the problem must be an allergy, I took an antihistamine but that gave little relief.  I have been free of environmental allergy symptoms for some time now and am puzzled to have them again.  

There is nothing I can think of that would be causing my body to react in these ways, unless it is a stress reaction.

Last night I woke up just after midnight and couldn't go back to sleep because of the runny nose.  The mucous is clear.  My eyes are mildly itchy.  There is no congestion, but I have a mildly irritated throat as a result of the postnasal drainage.  I have no fever.  These are minor health problems.  I feel well otherwise.


Oddly enough, my creative energy is up.  Unable to sleep, I sat down at my drawing table about an hour ago and finished Mandala #71, continuing to draw with my non-dominant left hand.

Thirty years ago, in 1992, I completed #71 in the Calendar Series which I had started working on in 1987 at the beginning of my recovery from anorexia, bulimia and alcoholism.  After my mother died in 1994, I lost most of my creative energy.  Now and then it would break through but never for long.  

Twenty years went by and then in 2014, I made my first mandala, inspired by a series of mandalas my mother had made when she was about the same age I was in 2014.  For the last eight years, my creative energy has been strong, although it was beginning to wane.   This past January, I sat down at my art table and wondered if I would ever draw again.  At that moment of despair, something prompted me to pick up a 6B pencil and draw with my non-dominant left hand.  Since then I have completed five non-dominant-hand mandalas, two of them in the past week, inspired by Charles Keepings' black and white illustrations in Dawn Wind, by Rosemary Sutcliff, which I read during the summer when I was 11 years old.  

Using my non-dominant left hand to copy the drawings from that book has been an unexpected joy.  Something has shifted in me in this last week.  I want to draw again, as never before.


I sneezed again just now.  What could be causing that?  Did I do something wrong?

I'm reminded of my visit to the health clinic to get help for the stye.  I told the physician assistant that I thought that it may have been caused by a change in what I had been eating.  I had been eating a substantial amount of dairy in the form of yogurt and a substantial amount of raisins.  In the past I have tested positive for an allergy to milk and had not eaten dairy foods for years.  It has been years since I have eaten raisins because of their high sugar content.  My body does not react well to large amounts of sugar.  The physician assistant said that it was possible that the foods had contributed to the stye but it was also possible that I hadn't done anything wrong.  He said that people tend to think that they have done something wrong if they have health problems and that often they have done nothing wrong.  I said, "You mean I'm innocent?"  He laughed and said, "Yes."


It's been a long journey from 1984 to 2022.


Mandala #71 (Non-dominant hand) with image copied from Charles Keepings drawings in Dawn Wind, by Rosemary Sutcliff.



Sabine said...

I hope you will feel better any day now!
I have had sneezing fits all my adult life and have given up trying to figure out why. My family used to count them, usually 6-8 loud sneezes in a row. Occasionally, I sneeze with the window open or while in the garden and some neighbours or the postman will shout the German equivalent of Bless You across the road.

But for the last ten days, I have been hit by a viral upper respiratory infection, stuffy nose, itchy throat, cough, exhaustion, no fever (negative PCR test). It reminds me that some things need to run its course and that I have to let it happen, that it's beyond my control or understanding.

am said...

Sabine -- Thank you, Sabine. Hope your respiratory infection runs it course soon!

NewRobin13 said...

I hope you start to feel better, am. It's hard to figure out what causes these things sometimes. Interestingly, I'm learning that doctors don't often know either. Unless something is really obvious, symptoms are a guessing game. Take care there.

37paddington said...

You didn’t do anything wrong. I’m glad he told you that. I didn’t know about your trauma in 1954. I hope your creative energy will bring healing you soon.