Signing up for weekly intravenous doses of a new maintenance drug during and after cancer treatment means staying in SE Queensland – and I don’t know for how long.

In this artwork I acknowledge the part of my heart left in FNQ and honour the place I love and the beautiful people – interesting, thoughtful people, open and warm, brave and creative. (Ok, maybe, as they say, a bit like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts!)

I often get an impression that many well-travelled folk have specially chosen to settle on the Tablelands and their energy has enhanced the treasure-trove of local people.

I am grieving about:

  • Distance from my home of 26 years – this beautiful, peaceful, lakefront haven, birthplace of our children, colourful environment that inspired my art
  • Separation from my dear Far Northern friends who have affirmed and challenged and nurtured me and shared my joys, pain and love.
  • Separation from the community where I have felt a sense of belonging and worth. I have loved to feel my contribution was accepted in spheres of music, art, dance, LETS, local action, yoga, neighbours, parent groups, small business community …
  • Some of my grief is over the speed of our decision to stay away. It might look like a decision taken lightly, as if I don’t care. I haven’t had a moment of doubt that I want to take this chance for a cancer cure. I also love being closer to family and southern friends, and I know Brisbane offers many exciting advantages. However, at the same time I am grieving.

Yesterday was my first Art Therapy session and I chose to use water-soluble oil pastels plus rich water colour paints. With the one-to-one care of Sandra, the therapist, I was guided through a relaxation, then encouraged to scribble freely on a blank page with eyes shut. Next I looked for any shapes or impressions in the scribble. I thought I saw an angel’s wing (in purple on the left) and maybe also a phallus. I decided to focus on the former, and began to add colour to the page, talking to Sandra about my grief (tissue box handy).

Soon my Tablelands tribute included something of the cool deep Lake Eacham, loved by locals as a healing and restorative oasis. That’s about all I can say about representation – the colours were just how I was feeling. Thanks Sandra for a great process.

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