“nARTcotics” Discovering Hidden Talents
Life has an odd way of showing us who we are sometimes. Broken sternum, 3 damaged ribs, collapsed lung, shattered knee-caps, mangled right shoulder, severely punctured wrist and wrecked athletic career were the only obvious results after I was hit by a car on April 18, 2011.
I never imagined my broken body would lead me directly to an undiscovered talent. My son passed away only 3 weeks prior to the accident and it seemed as if I was collecting tragedy as a hobby. I was shipped home after some time in the hospital. My lung had been re-inflated, and I was too drugged to realize my soul could use a pump as well. I was not aware of much outside of my pain and the clock. Each ticking moment meant I was closer to my next dose of narcotics; Morphine, Oxycotin, Percoset, Vicodin . . . etc. etc. These were prescribed to me to cover the intolerable physical pain . . . But what about the rest?
It’s not easy laying around, unable to do anything for yourself, wondering if your son is really dead or if these thoughts are just part of the montage of horrors floating around in your drug laden mind.
A day or two after I arrived home I heard kids happily humming and chatting at the table. Remembering they belonged to me I had a hankering to see what they were up to.
My partner, Noah, helped me shuffle the 16 feet to where they sat, happily coloring with markers and crayons.
“I wanna color,” I slurred.
Unsure if I would be able to balance in the chair, Noah helped me sit and watched me teeter and drool as I looked at the blank copy paper in front of me.
After a bit I picked up a regular pencil and began drawing lines. A few minutes later I stopped drooling and was enthralled in the creation of a festive looking fish. Using the markers and crayons, I decorated the fish with colors and was quite pleased with my crude yet appealing project.
The next day I posted it on my Facebook page to demonstrate to my friends that I was indeed still functioning in some capacity. Everybody was very encouraging and I received a request to draw a butterfly.
Armed with my newest prop I began drawing what I thought was a typical depiction of the popular insect. A few hours later I held it up for my kids to admire.
“Mom, that’s weird! What is it?’ was the unflattering response.
Never one to worry about public opinion, I slapped it up on Facebook. The reaction was encouraging again . . . and so I continued.
After a couple of more drawings I went all out and asked my mom to take me shopping for my very own markers. As I clung to my mom and wobbled through the store I became very focused on finding the perfect tools. Remembering advice from a friend I chose a variety of Sharpies and some thicker paper.
I was excited to get home and begin my new project. I began to refer to my new creations using the term, “nARTcotics,” I was actually beginning to wean off of the drugs but the art seed had been planted and watered.
I never knew I had potential to create art on paper before I was taken out of my usual media of movement.
This experience has made me very aware of how magnificent we all are; how we possess talent, ability and beauty beyond what we are even aware of. We all have so much to offer to the world around us.
We all have so much to offer to ourselves.
In your seemingly worst moments, take a deep breath, pull yourself up and start shuffling, even if the motivation is someone else’s humming and chatting. You just have to trust that life has an odd way of showing us who we are sometimes.