Art can tug at your heart. It can capture an emotion, a time, or even a season. When I saw this particular piece of art it was all of the above to me. It captured my attention. It took my breath away.
This painting was what breast cancer looked and felt like in my life.
I have never felt that a Pepto-Bismol -pink -washed anything represented what I was experiencing. It stung sometimes the way it made things appear delicate and pretty. There is so much of cancer that does not feel warm, or pretty, or perky. Yes, there are times of unexpected joy, but there are times that feel so raw and exposed.
When I saw this piece of art, my eyes immediately went to the dramatic swipe across her breasts. It is taking a part of her. It is dramatic. It is a little jarring.
But then my eyes saw her.
She still remains beautiful. The frame of her is still intact.
It is not pink washed.
It is harsh. It is deep. It is dark in places.
It is the color of PET scans lit up, exposing cancerous cells and tumors.
But beyond, her essence remains.
Past her loss of hormones due to surgery or harsh cancer-targeting chemotherapy.
She is still in there. There is still beauty beyond the broken.
There is still the effervescence of her spirit. Her heart. Her love.
She is still here.
Alexis is a talented college student at the University of Minnesota in Duluth.
Alexis, thank you for sharing your gifts and talents.
Input, Empathy, Context, Connectedness, Intellection