Tulip Study, in progress, Marcia Carole

How nice it would be if I woke up and found I was on a cancer vacation in bella Italia or tucked away at a sunny beach house - totally cancer free. I wouldn't have to reach for my daily pills or down my spinach smoothies. I wouldn't have to look in the mirror and see my buzz cut hairdo before popping on my wig. I wonder if everyone else who has an ongoing illness wakes up thinking, maybe today I am not sick. Then reality sets in.

I woke up today looking out my window at the Seattle gray. It began creeping into my bedroom, through the wooden slats of the blinds and blanketed me. Why not go back to sleep? Who would know or care? So what if I don't walk or jog today? Albert Camus has arrived in my bedroom. Nothing matters. And so it goes. Yes, some days are fairly gray all the way around.

However, I start to paint, and use yellows and firey reds along with sap greens to bring color and life into my gray world. Then, I think to myself, I guess I am taking a little cancer vacation every time I dip my brush into that mound of Gamboa yellow or Crimson red. I forget, for a while, the battle going on inside me as bright colors slide into each other on the wet paper. Take that, Camus. Soon, the nasty "life is meaningless" gray blanket creeps back out the window. The creative process restores my soul. And, I think, God is smiling as I paint.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of art making and a way to have a cancer vacation.

"He(God) sees our compositions, our choreography, our creations, those expressions that come from our souls,  created from our hands, works from which He is the ultimate expression. And the Master Artist smiles at the creation of His creation. He genuinely takes pleasure in the work of our craft. He takes what we create and hangs it on His refridgerator door."  - Manuel Luz, Imagine That