Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I get by with a little help from my friends

I've hurt my arm. The details are unimportant, and yes, it's healing. What is significant (for me, at least) is that it is my right arm, the lead hand in all my artwork. Typing can be done one-handed. No one takes off points for wiggly lines. Autocorrect can actually be helpful in fixing some errors (though it has made some extremely humorous changes a few time, of the sort that could get me on one of those "21 most hilarious autocorrect" lists had I not caught them.) But the kind of artwork I do, on egg or on a flat surface, takes a fairly steady hand. 

Even though the injured area is recovering, I realize there may be a day when recovery only goes so far. For most of my adult life, predating my pysanky writing, I've had compression of the ulnar and medial nerves on the right. Surgery wasn't recommended until I was out of my childbearing years, as the condition can reoccur with the changes of pregnancy. But, by the time I was "in the clear", I'd developed a pulmonary condition and was advised to not have elective surgeries, if at all possible. So I puddle along, hand pain rolling in and fading out. I have exercises I do daily, braces, therapies for exacerbations-- a full regime to call upon. The nerve trauma was flaring up when the injury happened, so this is a double whammy.

I've been thinking that should the time come when I can no longer hold a kistka in my right hand, I should start training the left. In other words, I want to become an ambidextrous pysanky writer. It's ambitious, I know, and there are many folks who can't master the art even with their dominant hand fully functional. But I want to try.

Yesterday, I started my first egg with my left hand. Got a few lines done, then pretty much wept, because I was so far from where I am on the right. I'm like a soprano with too much vibrato. But, I decided to post the picture to a pysanky group I am in. These folks are wonderful. Some, I've known for almost 20 years, and we've migrated to this group. Some I know only a few short months. A couple, I interacted with for the first time yesterday.  Since my post (above), encouragement, sympathy, suggestions, and humor have poured in. 

And that's not all. Some of these marvelous souls are taking up their kistkas, too, in their  non-dominant hand, to try and write a pysanka-- joining me on this weird one-hand-behind-my-back journey. I read that and teared up. I seemed to have gotten a little bit of fellowship in my eye.

Years ago, at a BookCrossing Convention here in Charleston, a friend I only knew from the internet, who'd just flown in from London, looked around the room at all the names she knew from our online group and said, "All my imaginary friends are real!" All mine seem to be real, and those who aren't sharing books with me, seem to be cheering me on as I learn to write again. Friends do indeed take you places you never thought you'd have the courage to go, and if you're very lucky, they travel the journey with you. Thank you incredible eggers of Incredible Eggs and of Instagram.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry that you have that chronic injury to your dominant hand. I had no idea. What a blessing to have friends to support you, encourage you, and travel the road with you! I will be praying for you.