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This week has been super intense. Many, many conflicting emotions. My first spread for this week is for the synesthesia prompt. That neurological glitch just blew me away. I find it absolutely fascinating.
Kadinski, Nabokov, Pharrell Williams are all synesthetes. How the world must look/smell/feel to them! Here is more information if you want to know what I’m going on about. In any case, this is how I see ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana.
I LOVED doing this and I would love to actually do a series. It felt very loose and interesting to just play and paint. No words.
Here is the second spread I did. It was related to the prompt that mentioned creating in response to something in the media. Well something big happened on a personal level for me. You may remember this post from last week. I shared this spread:
It was about my aunt who passed away last month. But the whole story is terrible and moving. My aunt has MS and when she felt she was losing what little mobility she had left, she asked for assisted medical death (this is a new law/process in Canada). They refused her saying she still had many years before her. But the whole point for her was that she didn’t want to spend those years trapped in a body that was falling apart with her mind still sound.
And so my aunt stopped eating and drinking. It took fourteen days, fourteen long days to starve to death. A little over a week in, when it was clear that she was dying, they once again asked for assisted death and were once again refused. So she had to endure 14 days of starvation to finally be free. This week, her lawyer and her doctor shared her story in the media in Quebec. My aunt Hélène told them that her story had to make things change for other people who are in this unbearable situation.
So a lot was on my mind this week, I think of her often. She was my godmother, a fiercely independent woman, an anthropologist. She went gladly and with a resolve of steel. Once she had decided it was time, she did not falter. Imagine having to do that? Imagine this is the only choice you have left, to be able to die with dignity? I deal with death a lot through my work, but it is always through the living. Death is terrible for those who need to carry on. I didn’t mention my aunt’s story before it came out in the media in respect of my cousins’s feelings.
These lyrics by Metric were running through my head all week. Even as I was preparing the kids for their first day of school. Even as I was lucky enough to shake our Prime Minister’s hand here in Beijing. Even as all of this was happening, back home people were debating, telling and sharing my aunt’s story. I think this is an important debate for our increasingly medicated societies. We will be confronted to cases like this one more often in the future. I believe that one should have the option of dying with dignity in cases where one’s mind is alert and whole but one’s body has faltered. The stitching in these pages helped me focus my attention on this one action, helped me slow time just a little, think things through, grieve.
And, of course, I love the backside.
Thank you, as always for letting me express myself here and through my art.
Here are the pages from my Sound of Silence journal for this week: