Yesterday I ran into someone I know slightly who had no knowledge of my recent setbacks. One of those bubbly, frantic people who don’t really listen but have several platitudes ready at hand–whether they apply to your situation or not.

The most visible of my injuries is, of course, the giant bandaged right hand. The person Made two comments about my injury that absolutely floored me.

“Oh, you’ll just learn to do everything with your left hand!” she said cheerfully.
“And don’t worry about not ever being able to do your art anymore, you’re so creative, I just know you’ll find something else to do!”

I was so astounded I couldn’t even reply.

I seethed quietly the rest of the day. Oh, just change the dominance of my hands? Yeah, that’s easy–nothing to it. Besides the fact that I simply want the use of two hands, not just one… Oh, just set aside my entire body of work and move on to “something else”? Give up everything that’s brought me tons of joy and fulfillment, prestige and income, and try to figure out a “new craft form” I can do one-handed? Yeah, that’s a snap.

But this morning, I thought, “People (including moi) say silly things all the time. Why did those remarks piss me off so much??”

It took some digging. But I finally I saw the humor–and the lesson–in the whole thing.

I was annoyed because this person was assuming I’m never going to recover from this. They assumed my situation is permanent. (And how even more callous their remarks were if the assumption were true.)

Then I realized that I have been afraid my situation is permanent.

How can I be mad at that person when they were simply giving voice to my own deep-down fears, fears I hadn’t really acknowledged?

For the first time, I think I really, truly realized–this situation isn’t permanent.

I WILL recover.

I’m already healing. I saw the hand surgeon recently and he said the bone is knitting together nicely. The neck surgeon said my recovery is right on track.

I thank you all for the words of encouragement you’ve sent my way. I am so grateful! The one that got me on today’s train of thought was the reminder that it will not take me another five years to get back into a healthy lifestyle and activity level again–“muscle memory” and all that.

I told you I needed daily “aha!” moments, and this is the one for today.

Author: Luann Udell

I find it just as important to write about my art as to make it. I am fascinated by stories. You can tell when people are speaking their truth--their eyes light up, their voices become strong, their entire body posture becomes powerful and upright. I love it when people get to this place in their work, their relationships, their art. As I work from this powerful place in MY heart, I share this process with others--so they have a strong place to stand, too. Because the world needs our beautiful art. All of it we can make, as fast as we can! Whether it's a bowl, a painting, a song, a garden, a story, if it makes our world a better place, we need to do everything in our power to get it out there.

7 thoughts on “PERSPECTIVE”

  1. Sorry to hear about your injury Luann, but not surprised at the insensitive comment. I remember hearing that proverbial quote, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” when I was very ill. Well I sure didn’t feel stronger at the time! Looking back, I’m still not sure that illness made me stronger as much as it helped me understand that patience and hope are the best medicine when we face a physical setback. Just make a little progress and find a little joy to be grateful for each day and before you know it you’ll be exactly where you need to be:)


  2. Yes, quite an aha moment; it is so hard to voice your deepest fears, I can’t imagine. I’ve been following your progress and I have NO doubt you will find the strength to recover. I just know you WILL prevail.


  3. I would also be floored at the “you’ll find something else to do” remark. Like what, working at McDonald’s? I am often caught off guard by the incomprehension of people who think being an artist is something you do to kill time, somewhere lower than say, a real job, like accounting, and only marginally above, say, making candles (not that making candles can’t be art!).

    Just looked through your art and I absolutely LOVE it.


  4. Oh Megan, you made me laugh right out loud with THAT one!

    Dear readers, I will now confess that what also annoyed me was the sneaking suspicion that I’ve probably said my share of really stupid things, too…!! :^p

    Andrea, welcome–and thank you!!

    Mary Beth, thank you for your faith in me.

    Bookbabie, you are absolutely right, and I can now see that little bit of progress each day.

    Elaine, thanks to Megan, I now know what to do if I hear that particular remark. :^)


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