Vessels and Healing

July 28, 2019 2 Comments

Vessels and Healing

 

THE HEALING VESSEL

Our bodies (Vessels) are designed to be strong, but they also  can become very fragile and injured.

They are  beautifully built  and are designed in so many fantastic shapes and colors. 

Then life happens, and we suddenly experience how difficult it is to rebuild them.

I designed this vessel to heal following a friends spinal cord injury. 

I hope the colors and design of this vessel will encourage us all to take time to celebrate  and care for the  wonderful vessels we live in. 

They are magnificent and yet so fragile.

 

I used to be a spine surgeon. That is, I used to be a healer of spines. I used my mind and my body to heal the bodies of others, until my own body gave out. I guess it had enough. It had become so overwhelmed with the stress of curing other people of their injuries that I developed a spinal injury myself. I had a couple of back operations that gave me little relief. Acutely aware of the long, agonized journey ahead of me involving numerous drugs and possibly more surgeries, I chose to turn to art as my healer. Instead of putting my faith in the medical system that I had been a part of for so many years, I decided to start by healing my disconnected soul through the creation of art and I have never looked back.

The meditative process of making art mimics that found in nature. Today, technology bombards our senses with constant images and information encouraging us to buy and buy quickly. Our culture demands that we make decisions fast without thinking but taking time out to reflect offers us a peace of mind that we cannot get from the continually increasing pace of life attached to electronics.

Nature offers us a chance to take time out and reflect on the life we have. There is something mysterious in nature’s simplicity. Something we do not know. Plants and animals exist in harmony and we do not know all the reasons why, leaving us in utter amazement for the things we cannot explain. This is beauty, a beauty which an be found in art, also.

There exists a similar mystery to the creation of art. Taking time out to create art without really knowing how it will turn out can bring a similar peace of mind to the artist. You might even say, a sense of healing. Experiencing this meditation restores our purpose for being. Amidst all the busy-ness of life we can find time to create beauty, but the real beauty is not the product itself, but the process of taking the time to create it.

 

I work with glass, heating it at extreme temperature to fuse different elements into the glass. The process requires tremendous patience and attention to detail. During this process, I do not make quick decisions, but meticulously plan every detail and the irony is, it rarely goes as planned. That is the beauty in it all. The mystery behind it.

The spine, the backbone, gives us the ability to stand up. It is the frame that holds the contents of our bodies. If we lacked spines our organs would be all muddled up with no specific placement and if our spine breaks our bodies experience great pain and tragedy.

Like our spines, glass can break into a million pieces, but also like our bodies, when functioning properly, glass is extremely strong. A glass vessel can hold a tremendous amount of weight. They have been used to carry life granting, but heavy, water to replenish our thirsty bodies, but if dropped can shatter into a thousand pieces in a split second.

This strength and fragility can be seen in the human body, as well. The human body can withstand an enormous amount of abuse when we are young. We can eat all kinds of junk food, but our metabolisms burns it just as fast as we put it in. Later in life, it all catches up to us. The cumulative sum of our physical habits adds up and can cause us problems that went unforeseen in our youth.

 

Creating glass vessels is like creating a new body. Vessels hold the contents we deposit in them, just as our bodies do. We can put flowers in a vessel, or we can put rocks in it, just as we can put healthy fruits and vegetables in our bodies or cheeseburgers and fries. A glass vessel can only hold so many rocks before it cracks, and our bodies can hold only so many cheeseburgers before we have a heart attack.

Or we can nourish our vessels. When creating glass vessels, we can add elements to create greater beauty than that which already exists such as, different colors to enhance the viewers experience.   We can nourish our bodies with healthy, organic food and even add vitamins to give our hair and skin a vibrant glow.

It is through the creation of new vessels that I have learned to heal my soul and subsequently, the vessel that has held it all my life: my body. Art has healed me both, physically and emotionally, and I will never regret my unexpected, new path.

 

 

  




2 Responses

edward gallagher
edward gallagher

July 29, 2019

Truly beautiful, interesting and inspiring—-that applies to both your art and your story blog——Love Ed

Moira F Andre
Moira F Andre

July 29, 2019

Al, your artwork is so impressive and beautiful! I see you in every piece on display here. I’m so glad you are such a creative artist and wish you continued healing on your journey.

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