Thursday, April 21, 2011

nail the story

in the afternoon yesterday three of us met for Expressive Art Therapy
Emily is our therapist / friend
and she guides us into the new territory of the day
two of our friends were not able to attend and it is of course
and we miss them at the same time
it was hard for me to fathom that we have only
been together
for three sessions aka gatherings in my way

in the center of the table
a box of oil "pastel" sticks (?)
I had never used them
we received three pieces of paper for our art
one sheet of paper for writing

our focus:
- mind/intellect
- heart/emotions
- and the combination

letting go and playing around with the concepts representationally
is a release
getting my fingers messy while blending colors feels
to the ideas

as we are making out impressions on paper
thinking a little
feeling a little
we are speaking first to ourselves
and then with each other
I find that my voice is altered there in that room
especially once the door is closed
and we open up

I can share why I put on nail polish for the first time
in my life
it was the way I did my homework from the last gathering
when I knew I needed to focus on self-acceptance

for most of these past years my hands have been
directly affected by the meds I take
talking about it is difficult because I found that I hide
certain parts of having cancer that make me uncomfortable
or insecure
having my nails crumble away
scrunching in pain when the rough edges snagged on fabric
how that affected the way I did laundry with cotton gloves on
the fabrics that I liked to wear or the ones that hurt
if I want to hug someone I have become very aware
of being careful not to snag and damage their clothing
so I am extrememly careful

when I look for my treasures in thrift stores
careful once again

I have used countless bandaids to protect my fingers
swollen fingers
reddened visibly was another period of over a year
that overlapped with the stubby cracks of poor excuses
for finger and toe nails...

I am not whining
I am reminiscing...

I bought a nail strengthener when I started on this
chemo vacation that is about three months old now
it seemed like an opportunity to try something new
sure enough, good timing
ever so slowly, nails were trying to grow
the rough edges were driving me crazy and I filed them
oh it sounds crazy to me to be writing about nails
yet it is the little things that represent bigger issues, perhaps...

anyway, in the past week, I tried two different color ways of nail polish
it helps even though the nails are nubby and bumpy
they are smoother and do not catch - yippee!

I find that I am not activley hiding my hands this week
it is a little step in accepting
my self


  1. Gloria,
    You are beautiful and wonderful, and I'm so glad you've taken this step. Why not try the things you've held back from before? I say try whatever seems interesting. Because we're always changing and evolving, you just might find you like something that "wasn't Gloria" in the past. Maybe rhinestones or a long skirt are next! ;o)
    Love you,

  2. came by to say hi... and funny (or not so) how things we take for granted.. until they are changed.. we become more aware of all those little things that make up life. We eventually learn not to take anything for granted. Life's a gift, and we all need to explore it's possibilities more often.. tried the nail polish once or twice myself :-) the art therapy sounds like a very good thing.