Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adventures of the Sick Stick

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10 comments:

  1. I love all of these, the last the most -- the drawing is so perfect there!

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  2. I suffer from Fibromyalgia and, like you, went undiagnosed (aka, scared, confused, patted on the head by the medical profession - how many lime disease tests can one person have?- but still damn certain something was not right) for many years. It may sound strange but I was moved to tears by the image of Sick Stick hanging his head because he wants to be perfect but he can't. Thank you for writing this blog and attempting to put into words what others of us wish we knew how to say.

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  3. Raemree, I was stricken in bed last night by the realization that I hadn't responded to your good comment. Thank you much for visiting. I looked at your blog too ( when you commented) and saw that you are taking courage in your own life in the midst of significant challenges. I wish the best to you and hope to hear from you again.

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  4. Pricilla,

    Would you mind if I posted your Sick Stick "I'm not perfect" picture on my blog (giving you credit of course)? I would like to write an entry about how it moved me.

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  5. Sure, Raemree, permission granted. Thanks for asking; I look forward to reading what you write. If you think of it, post a link to it here when it's up.

    best,
    Priscilla

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  6. Priscilla and Raemree,
    "I'm not perfect, but I feel like I ought to be." That one struck me too. But the first time seeing the image, I hadn't noticed the title. So instead of "Sick Stick", I guess I just thought ... well ... ME. SICK me, maybe, but not Fibromyalgia sick. Just human sick, and the back-burned expectation that there's a Better Self out there... But then, I guess "Adventures of the Human Being" just doesn't have that same rhyme or ring to it... Anyway, Priscilla, thanks.

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  7. Thanks, Nathan. Yes, I would hope my cartoons at least sometimes have that broader resonance. It is something odd about being sick; healthy people so often think they aren't sick. Only everybody is, not exactly like me or Raemree but in a very real, making-lots-of-trouble-in-the-world way. And everybody, at best, is only temporarily able-bodied. Which is scary and therefore nice to deny. This is something that will come up in my future posts. In fact, hmmm, I'm thinking now of a buried piece of writing that might be due for resurrection.

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  8. Further thoughts: Another funny thing about being sick is that you still have all the other usual human trouble. Sometimes it even feels amplified. So in that cartoon I wasn’t so much thinking *about* my illness, but *from* my place of illness, a place of awareness that I am not all that I want to be. A place of awareness of my brokenness, which is much more than my illness. I have come to think, amazingly, that that is quite a good place to be. My feeling that somehow I ought to be perfect has less to do with a sense of a better self than it does with a desire to be powerful and without need—perfect. Somehow I think, though, the *real* better self, the *truer* perfection, the one I think Nathan is referring to, is given to us in our weakness. It’s a gift we can’t begin to receive if we are unwilling to be vulnerable.

    Don’t know if any of that will make sense or how much it really has to do with what I was thinking at the time of drawing. When I drew that little image I was just putting down my feelings of the moment; it’s interesting to reflect on it more and hear how it lands with others.

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  9. "When I drew that little image I was just putting down my feelings of the moment" ... I think that's what makes your images ring so true. If you ask me, that kind of vulnerability is how God sees us, and how we hardly ever see ourselves.

    Sheez.

    Including me, right now, trying to say something imperviously "wise." That's me: Perfectly Well and Happy Stick..., er, shtick.

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  10. just stumbled upon your blog, and the first cartoon (sick stick) is so true. i have fibromyalgia, and this is just so true true true. thanks!

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