Friday, September 3, 2010

When Finger Painting Becomes a Rorschach Blot

Trace monoprint, ©2010, Hannah Hunter
Sometimes, you just know it's time for a break. I'd been planning to take some time off when suddenly, the vortex of life began to whirl around me.

A child on our hospital floor who had been hanging on to life for months, died. My son, who'd appeared to be settled nearby, seized an opportunity and drove off to Florida to pursue his career. With characteristic decisiveness, he totally relocated his life within three days.

It all left me a bit breathless and teary. Sad for the patient, happy for my son, sad because after a great run of years, my active role as a mom is coming to a close.

As I stared down at a finger painting I'd done in our pediatric art group, I saw the proverbial writing on the wall. Time for a change. Time for a break.

Time to pick the figs off our tree and dry them, appreciating the slowness of time passing when it's not being calibrated by a Kronos time clock.

figs ready to dry
Time to enjoy these early days of fall with a book in my lap instead of a keyboard beneath my fingers.

 What I'm going to read

Time, most of all, to discover where my intuition has been hiding.  

For much of my life I've operated from that "still small voice within." Working in a hospital run on a 24 hour clock, punctuated by electronic medical record keeping, tends to dull that inner voice over time.

Dream time--quiet time--is exactly what I plan to give myself during the next 10 days. I want to see if by taking some time to listen, I can find that hidden voice.

Last night I dreamed of ocean waves crashing in the distance while I floated in nearby still waters, gray pebbles beneath me and the beach just a short distance away.

I'll be taking a break from my blog for the next week and look forward to checking in with all of you very soon, renewed and refreshed.


  1. Those are heavy changes...losing the patient...saying adieu to your son who is striking off on his own. Great timing for a break to enjoy peace and quiet and tend you only yourself in scenic surroundings sounds devine. I wish you a pleasant time and a Shana Tova as well.

  2. What fabulous self care goals! And an inspiration... I think I'll shut the computer down now and go sit outside with a book for a bit!

  3. Enjoy your quiet time. I hope you return renewed and refreshed.

  4. Thank you!! I've been out working in the yard all morning and it is glorious...

  5. Enjoy your break! Sometimes we need to just breath, leave technology behind and just enjoy the sound of the wind blowing, birds chirping and time slowly moving. Clicks of the Keyboard can wait :) Have fun and see you back here soon. Ur posts will be missed.

  6. the ups and downs of life and the journey- both as a mother, a care giver and an artist- you connect them all here very nicely.

  7. I hope yu have a lovely break.

  8. Joyita--I took a walk at sunrise today (something I would not have done pre-vacation). It was wonderful to hear the poplars blowing in the wind and see the slowly changing colors of the leaves.

    Donna--Thank you. Isn't it true about those ups and downs???

    Wonkie--thank you!

  9. Blessings to you Hannah. I'm sorry for your loss, and the suddenness of change that came from your son's departure - as positive as his move is, those abrupt changes are alarming!! May the quiet, slowing time be healing. Wishing you wellness, as you follow your wise and intuitive self,

  10. Having a child leave home is a traumatic enough event, you need the time to rest and listen. You are growing something else with your art and your garden, some things to nurture.
    I heard an interview about your book on NPR and was interested in it. I will be curious to hear what you think. Peace.

  11. Karin and Beth,

    Thank you both for recognition, for your insight and for your blessing.

  12. Wow, BIG changes! Quiet time is just right. I am looking forward to your return.... in your own time.

  13. Hi Hannah
    I am so touched by your post and embraced by your wisdom to know how to care for yourself so gently and so well.

    Enjoy your garden and the 'writing on the wall'.

    hugs Iona

  14. listening for that still small voice...always, always a healing choice.

    easy breaths and gentle steps

  15. Lynn, Iona and Laura,

    Thank you. Something I find odd and wonderful: since I've begun to pay closer attention, that still, small voice has come up with so much she has to say! Much of it seems to be about moving at a slower pace and taking more time to ponder the "writing on the wall."

  16. Hi Hannah, I thought I would stop by here and I am so happy I did. I am sorry for the loss of your patient and as we talked about a bit, I can really relate to the mixed emotions of having our children successfully strike out on their own.
    I really enjoyed meeting you and I look forward to getting to know you better here as well as in the "real world". Take care...

  17. Dianne--thank you for coming by. I enjoyed meeting you at the Open Studio event and had a great time sharing your photograph of the palm trees with my husband--he loved it. Looking forward to seeing you again--on line and on R. St.!

  18. I'm a bit late to wish you a peaceful 10 day break but I certainly hope you are now feeling rejuvenated. So sorry about your young patient. It must be extremely hard to lose the children you work with.

  19. Hannah... what I love the most about Sunrise is the light slowly creeping in... and then all of a sudden its bright... like magic!