Grayscale Part II – Winning the Battle of the Gray
“Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.” Oscar Wilde’s theory is that Art sets the tone for how we perceive everything. Without Art, we would not know beauty or despair or be empowered to glean meaning. Through the artist, Art presents us with the achingly beautiful, the depressingly ugly, and meaning. I don’t know if I’m 100% there with Oscar (having spent so many nights with him, I’m fairly certain we’re on a first name basis); however, I do believe that Art of whatever form (painting, photography, writing, humor, sculpture, poetry, music, film, food, whatever) does elevate Life. In the sense that without Art, there is merely existence. I’m not saying we all have to get to a museum more often, although that would not be a bad thing. I am saying that Art is actually everywhere, we just need to temporarily forget about the laundry, those aches and pains, our bank balance, or what’s for supper, and simply open our eyes.
A battery of tests (labs, x-rays, and biopsies oh my) have been run on me. Why do they call it “battery”? Did this all energize me? I think not. Is “battery” meaning battalion? As in the white coats are attacking me with tests? To that I can only say, they’ve thrown pretty much everything they have at me and I’m Still Standing (thank you, Elton) so na na na na.
And throughout it all I’m proud to report that I’ve maintained my F-U attitude with the white coats. As far as I’m concerned medicine and all the bureaucracy that goes with it, is a necessary evil, and perhaps less on the necessary and more on the evil. I don’t feel the same about nurses, by the way. Mostly, I think that’s because nurses generally don’t have that holier-than-thou demeanor and because they get stuck with all the dirty work of traditional medicine.
And what have all the test results told the white coats? Well, they know something’s wrong with me. Seriously? That’s what you get paid for? Stating the obvious?? Okay, they do know that it’s not cancer and that is a very good thing and I am really-truly-no-fooling grateful for that.
Apparently (or not so apparently), I have some sort of connective-tissue-disease-auto-immune-disorder thingy. Why didn’t you say so? If I were Yoda, I might say clear, things are not. The white coats have no idea which disease-disorder thingy my body is expressing at this point. Apparently (no qualification this time), there are a whole lotta these auto-immune thingamajiggies. I have been told that I’m in a “gray area” and until another symptom manifests, they probably won’t be able pinpoint which connective-doohickey is occurring. My advice to the white coats was, “look for the strangest, most obscure of these disorders and there will be a picture of me waiting for you to name it.”
Unfortunately, the white coats did not find my advice helpful. So for now…I’m stuck in this “gray area.” At first this seriously anger-and-frizzle-fried me. All this time has gone by, all these stupid, miserable tests, all that money and they can’t give me a name to associate this with??? And then, like the errant brick that Truth sometimes is, it smacked me in the forehead and I realized how dumb is that? Who cares what label they want to slap onto my whatchmacallit? Will that label cure me? No, it really won’t.
Does being in this “gray area” surprise me? No, it really does not. Gray has always played out a theme in my life and not just with my love of Grayscale Photography. My first novel features a land of gray. My greeting cards are grayscale doodles printed on (100% recycled) gray paper, which by the way took me ages to find. I’ve never been a fan of gold jewelry; I’m a lover of sterling silver. I tend to associate gray with depression, something that I've fought valiantly for most of my life. My finances are certainly more on the gray side than black (and thankfully not red). Philosophically, it has always been the “gray areas” of life that intrigue me far more than the black or white. And give me the lovely, soft light of cloudy overcast over recklessly blaring sunshine any day. Holy Graymoly. Sometimes it takes an illness, difficulty, tragedy, or a drastic change to connect the dots of your life, because we all have such bizarre patterns. But I do believe that we all have a pattern, perhaps several.
A great deal of my life has been about gray, I just never knew it consciously until now. Upside? Now I can have fun with it. It’s what you don’t know that runs you like some sort robotic marionette. Once you know, you can run it. That may sound like a dubious upside, but not to me.
So, does Life truly imitate Art? Or is it that Art imitates Life? As my husband always says, “a little from column A, a little from column B.”