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Don't Hold Back: A Mini-Article
Some of you may have already heard of my sad news this week. My wonderful and beloved Dad, Dr. Lonnie Kliever (also Artella's #1 fan and the "a philosophical riff" columnist in each print issue of Artella), passed away on Wednesday afternoon, with my sister Launa and I right beside him. This was the end of a long struggle with both kidney failure and cancer, as well as a life of chronic pain and physical disability, and my family is grateful he is no longer suffering.
If you've read Articulation for any amount of time, you know that I like to distill my weekly experiences into an article to share...and while I am sure that at some point I will be able to write about him at length -- there is so very much to say -- I'm afraid I could not do him justice, yet. So my article this week is brief but heartfelt, and perhaps there will be a gem in here that will serve the art of your life.
Two days before he died, after being in critical condition in ICU for a week, my Dad made the decision to stop medical intervention, and to be simply be kept as comfortable as possible until his inevitable death. He was fully lucid in making this decision, and it is just such a blessing that he was able to make this choice on his own terms.
After he had articulated this decision, I spent a bit of time alone with him, and I just lost it. I wept and wept and couldn't stop. I apologized for this, and his response to me was, "Please don't worry. These are raindrops of the soul. It would not be consistent with who you are to not show intense emotion. Don't worry. Don't hold back."
"Don't hold back."
Those three words seemed to summarize who my Dad was, and what he has taught me.
So with this brief story, I invite you to say these words to yourself often this week, whenever you are struck to do so. See if anything shifts or opens up.
In a letter he wrote to me about a year ago, he said:
"I am living in the indicative (When I die...) rather than the subjunctive (If I were to die...) That shift of sensibilities has added a dimension and intention to my life. As best I know my heart and mind, I am not afraid of living with illness or dying from illness. I'll take each in its own turn and on its own terms. No denials. No bargains. But a special gratitude and consolation for the living of these days, the depth of which I truly wish could be experienced by all humanity."
Perhaps a few more of us can tap into this kind of gratitude and grace this week, with the help of the words, "Don't hold back." I'll be saying them, too. Let me know if they help.
- How can you not hold back in your creative endeavors? What risks can you take in your creative work?
- With whom can you stop holding back your expressions of affection?
- What is currently holding you back from taking "that next step" that you know is the Way to being truly "you"?
THIS WEEK'S ART-SPLASH!
For this week's Art-Splash, I thought I'd direct you to the the archives, for a Splash I created for my Dad's birthday last November. It's called Grand Unemployment and it can be found at www.artellawordsandart.com/artic51.html. It's about a great lesson he taught me.
Here are a few announcements related to the schedule of Artella activities, as I've been out of pocket since I came to Dallas a week and a half ago. Thank you for indulging me in posting these schedule changes here.
1. The "Sizzle into Summer" sale ends tomorrow, July 10, at midnight EDT. Those of you who have yet to see our 4 new gifty-collections or taken our little "Who are you?" quiz to see which one is best for you, go to www.artellawordsandart.com/sizzle-sale.html.
2. Lessons for the brand new e-courses, "Miracle Soup" and "Creative ManiFestival" have been rescheduled to be sent out beginning THIS coming Monday, July 12.
3. Current sessions of "The Wealthcare Program" and "YOU * U" will reconvene within the next few days. If you are a participant in one of these courses -- don't worry! We'll get back on schedule, I promise. Thank you for your patience and support, and all the kind words you have sent my way.
4. The next sesion of "YOU * U" has been postponed until July 19. There is still room in this session, so if you have questions are and interested, let me know. My schedule has been incredibly topsy-turvy, but we will find time to talk!
5. The Weekly Poetry Contest announcements will continue with next week's Articulation. The deadline for the Monthly Poetic Idol Competition, with prizes of up to $150, remains July 30. See www.artellawordsandart.com/prizes.html for information about these contests!
6. The "PassionPoetry Newsletter" and delivery of Members-Only PoemPaintings are scheduled to start up again today. Articulation will resume to its normal format some time on the later part of next week.
7. The featured Artist of the Week in The Shoppes of Artella will be reflected on the Web site next Tuesday and announced in next week's Articulation. Until then, be sure to check out the work of our current featured artist, Tammy Vitale. Also, all sales and discounts are, indeed, currently up-to-date on the Specials page.
8. Finally, I just have to express my profound thanks to a few folks. First to Deb Silva, Artella's Creative Projects Manager, for so masterfully covering so many different projects in my absence, as well as the tireless assistance from Bobby Miller and Zura Ledbetter during these tough times. Also, thank you to members of the Artella community who have heard about my Dad's death and have expressed such lovely and heartfelt wishes.
I've often reflected that my drive to create Artella came from some power bigger than me...now I know that one reason I must have created this community was to lean on it when I needed to. Thank you, from every part of my heart.
Wishing you the intention and attention to see more wonders of life.
~not holding back, ever,
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