A Messy Life Musings

Breast Cancer. Kissing My Breast Goodbye.

Breast Cancer Bites. Kissing My Breast Goodbye

Written for every woman who lost, or is losing this intimate partner.

—–Originally posted, August 17, 2017, on my old website. Re-post worthy.—–

I find myself on the merging ramp to a mastectomy and wishing to yield, for just a moment, before this breast becomes a blurred memory in the traffic flow of life.

She is the part I must release to protect the whole, but she will not go without notice or appreciation for what she held space.

There is a body of experience in this sweet breast of mine. She and her sister were late bloomers. No doubt, I got that premature training bra because my mother was tired of fielding questions that always started with a whiny “When…”

As intimate partners go, both breasts have been first class. But she is the one that held space over my heart. For that I grieve her loss. I would love to kiss her for all that we’ve gone through together – but she is not that large nor I that agile.

Sound strange?

Our bodies are living, breathing temples that hold space for a fusion of body, mind, and spirit – from the most elemental level to the most sublimely sacred that life has to offer. And each part speaks to aspects of experience that leave imprints – clues – as to how we maneuver through and integrate events from the significant to the mundane.

Continue reading “Breast Cancer. Kissing My Breast Goodbye.”

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Art, Mixed Media, Creativity

Cut And Paste Beyond Breast Cancer. When Art Heals.

Mixed medim art for breast cancer awareness by Bernadette Rose Smith

Stitched and stretched. That’s what I’ve titled this piece because that’s what breast cancer ushered in with every decision I had to make. Cut it. Stitch it. Now, stretch it beyond anything recognizable as you.

Life flew apart like confetti without a party. Not unlike my private-moment, mixed medium attempts at depicting this most bizarre journey. (And so shortly after losing Ray to cancer.) Countless bits and pieces of paper – glued, splattered, pealed back up, and reassembled with the best of intentions – were tossed in the trashcan next to me because they did not fit the picture as I had imagined.

The writer-me has freely spoken about her journey with breast cancer. The artist-me had not taken her shot at it. Quite frankly, she couldn’t get the writer to shut up long enough for the artist to quietly seat herself in the studio and ask, “How do you heal through this with art – not words?” Continue reading “Cut And Paste Beyond Breast Cancer. When Art Heals.”

A Messy Life Musings, Art, Mixed Media, Creativity

Healing Art, Mixed Media, and Paper Flowers.

Paper Flowers by Bernadette Rose Smith

I saw the vision of a woman. She coaxed me into the studio after these words popped onto the page of my journal one morning.

“He gave her paper flowers,
because he knew that she loved words.
Wax-pressed intent upon her heart,
that his voice within be heard.”

I thought this piece of art was finished when I framed and entered it in last year’s Artful Harvest show, hosted by my local art guild. Since then, she’s been hanging on a wall adjacent to my computer area. I walk by her every day.

Paper Flowers Close Up by Bernadette Rose Smith

She quietly holds space for me, like one of those tent cards that reserve your seat at a banquet table, waiting for me to venture back into the studio. Time in the studio, that once was Ray’s, comes with hurdles. It’s that grace and grief thing, creating a kind of chaos in my heart, healing through a cosmic codependency with my creative compadre, now on the other side of the veil after losing his fight with cancer. Expressing my creativity looks vastly different now as I work to heal beyond not only losing him, but also losing a breast to cancer just five months after his departure.   Continue reading “Healing Art, Mixed Media, and Paper Flowers.”