6/8/12

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.”












19 comments:

  1. Oh my Lovely. I had no idea that you were having to deal with the white coats....what a bummer. It's 4am here and I'm still half asleep so I'm afraid that this will not be a very eloquent response to your beautifully written post. I just wanted to say that I've just woken up the Irishman to ask him what he thinks and he says life imitates art. I'd say that was a pretty black and white answer. Big love from this side of the world xx

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    1. Please tell your Irishman that I'm leaning that way myself. I love that you can wake your husband up at wee hours to ask him to weigh in on whether art imitates life or life imitates art. I have that type of relationship with my husband, too. Isn't it amazing? Good for us! ;)

      And I think your 4am response is wonderful and certainly much appreciated. Sending love your way, Lottie xo

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  2. Loving this post Knotty! There was some really funny moments as usual (the errant brick that is truth) but the funniest part was your advice to the 'White Coats': “look for the strangest, most obscure of these disorders and there will be a picture of me waiting for you to name it.”
    I just had a vision of you standing there, arms crossed with a look of impatience on your face and a speech bubble coming out of your mouth saying:
    "Well, it's about damn time you got here!" :)

    Love the photos as well especially the last two, they could grace an album that features black metal with folk elements!

    Godd luck with the 'White Coats'!

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    1. Hmmm, you've given me a new market, MrGG! I'll have to check out some black metal folk bands/labels and see where that takes me.

      Really glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for the marketing tip and the good luck wishes. I need both (especially good luck with the white coats)! :)

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  3. I'm glad for no cancer, and that you don't have anything against nurses.... That "holier-than-thou" attitude is less apparent in Sweden because we don't have such a strong hierarchy anymore, you can see it in some older doctors but nothing compared to other countries.
    Autoimmune sucks. What sort of autoimmune disease are they suspecting?

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    1. I'm glad to hear that there isn't such a strong hierarchy in Sweden anymore. Perhaps that means the "hierarchy" is losing in the world and healing is winning.

      Actually, there's some disagreement among the white coats as to which auto-immune this could be. It would be nice if they agreed, however, better that they disagree than if they all agreed on the wrong thing! lol

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  4. I absolutely love reading everything you have to say! Although it's not the best of subjects I find myself laughing and smiling and concerned all at the same time! I'm concerned for you because they don't know what it is, but thankfully it's not cancer. I have to laugh and smile because you always know how to look on the brighter side and have your humor come threw. Which is great, laughter helps keep us healthy to a degree. Going around moping and what not can make us worse, i truly believe that. Keeping you in my thoughts! xo

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    1. I appreciate your words, Dev.

      I completely agree with you that laughter keeps us healthier. What do we have to loose, anyway? Humor is definitely not going to hurt us! For me, the truth is there is very little that we actually have control of in Life. One of the things we can control is our attitude. I'm not saying we should pretend anything, but rather after staring down that dark side choose to focus on the brighter side. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts xoxox

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  5. I am not a fan of doctors and tests either. Growing up I had bad kidney infections and had too many tests to count. I agree about the nurses also, they were always great! I hope you start feeling better, not knowing what's wrong is always hard. Love the photos, the last one is particularly beautiful!

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    1. It's always good to know that I'm not the only one who has trouble with the white coats!

      I can't imagine how hard all those tests were for you when you were young and it must have been difficult for your parents, as well. I'm glad that you had good experiences with nurses to remember and that you got better!

      So glad you enjoyed my photos, too. Thanks, Frugal :)

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  6. Sorry to hear you're going through such a difficult time. I was once told when given a diagnoses that it was only a label and nothing would change in my treatment,how wrong they were.With my label in my hand I sought out the experts to treat me and ditched the rest. Result was the best treatment I could ever have had and the right treatment so after years of not having a label just symptoms I was finnally believed and heard. Get that label as quick as you can and get the right treament to make you well again. Love the photos, and the way you have of looking at things.

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    1. I really appreciate you sharing your story with me and encouraging me to keep at those white coats for an official diagnosis. Really glad you enjoyed the photos, too. Thanks so much for stopping by, Anne! :)

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  7. Jesus, IK! I hope you're okay. And yes, I appreciate you modeling how to approach these scenarios. You're awesome. I love the last few pics in particular.

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    1. Glad you like the pics. My favorites are the last two. Amazing what you can shoot at 5:00 a.m. And the world is so quiet then, too. Thanks, RA :)

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  8. I am relieved it is not cancer, and I understand about living in the grey. I finally took charge of that by cutting some users out of my life and seeking the help I needed. Feeling better lately, and I can't wait until you're there, too. Hugs and smooches and sending warm blessings your way.

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    1. Thanks Amberr. I'll take all hugs, smooches, and warm blessings I can get!

      I agree with you and I believe that things like this happen in order for us to re-evaluate our lives. I'm glad you cut some dead wood out of your life AND especially that you're feeling better. xx

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  9. If life imitates art, (and I think, perhaps, it does) let's consider your last picture, which is art with a capital A. The dawn of day, new light, hope, etc... that's exactly what we all wish for you in your life. New light shining on a proper diagnosis, and new hope for feeling better again. Gray's a lovely shade, but living in the gray area of not knowing isn't particularly lovely. Your attitude, however, provides its own sunshine.

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    1. What a wonderful comment, Susan. I really hadn't thought of that last pic in that way, but how great would that be? It will happen...it's just a matter of time. Thanks so much for your encouraging words. Much appreciated. xo

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