Gardens of a Degenerative Disease This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 23, 2018
By , Decatur, TX

The process of thought is an unique characteristic of the brain. A train of continuity to show the complexity of the mind. I was always fantastic at the process in a sense of creativity. A dot connected to the world or a star or an universe of planets forming around a single dot in time. An artist’s thoughts these would be. An artist who could constantly draw and doodle and express those thoughts. A word or a song could set off the workings of an artistic piece. However things change.


Words jumble in odd forms in the distance. I look up from reading the small text of a book to notice this effect in shorter ranges. The irony of the artist unable to see is one of common reality. But what happens when thoughts jumble like those words in the distance? What happens if the sight of words disappears like a train in the fog? Is the artist supposed to make art of these hazy figures in the glitter of darkness that is a thoughtless brain? The usefulness of creativity is a job placed upon an artist. What is one to do when this fades?


In my past my artistic ability was always the needed part of my families structure. My various paints for this project and my easels for this purpose. “Would you draw me this?” and “Would you sketch me that?” with a pinch of “Do you have this color of paint?” and a dash of “Could you lend me some sort of art supply?” made up the ingredients of my interactions. What happens when I forget?


As it had always been my job as an artist, my mother’s job was a caretaker. For most of my life she had been in the home. For most of my life I had seen her struggles with a blind eye. I had eavesdropped with a deaf ear. It is the fate of children to not understand the actions of disease, but it was never an issue until later years. Those corrupted hands unable to do as much and falling health heal the disabilities of children.


For the longest of times I was lost in thought for what made my portion of the family so defeated compared to the rest of my family. It had been always been a small thought that my birth caused my mother her home life and lack of prosperity. Perhaps that it was the unexpected first child to ruin what could have been a promising life. Ir was a horrible thought for a younger child, but as I aged I heard more. I understood more. Although children were a definite cause for poverty within my family, it occured to me as I got older that it wasn’t fully the issue. When I was young my mother had still worked. She drove and had a college degree: An Associates degree. She was young and that level of schooling could have been acceptable. With both parents working I still had a good life for a young unexpecting family. For years I thought I did. Thus it occured to me. My mother couldn’t drive because of her blindness, causing her not to be able to work. It was her disability I later learned the name of by fellow family members: MS. Of course, many don’t understand what this entails. It’s unknown to many when I tell them of it. MS stands for Multiple Sclerosis. The longer name does nothing to describe the severity to others still.


It is an incurable disease that destroys the coating of the nerves in the brain. It’s effects are varied and can affect every person with the disease in completely different ways with varied stages of decay. My mother suffers from a strain that allows her to still be able to function for the time being, but with the degenerative property of the disease it can always get worse. Those messed up hand could completely stop working one day and that broken vision could completely fall out. All I can see is just a worsening condition.


I don’t know how to give people the knowledge to further research on their own. The probability of anyone getting it is extremely likely in a family. Though usually it effects white women closer to the equator. The more of a family history of it the more likely it is to happen. Many in America have it, yet awareness is exceedingly low.
As I sit in my room one night and think about this, about my family, I paint. Those multiple dots of disaster is common yet none know about those devastating effects. The mind rotting away from the body without being able to cure it would be something that would be a large subject of conversation, or only as I would think so. As I paint, the canvas has no objective. The colors change around and merge in unique colors. Beige, violet, and neon green combine in streaks upon a canvas to cover up the previous paining in a different and unique way. Maybe I would draw over it. Without a focus, my mind finds itself drifting. It shifts into that place of nothingness where there is only the sparkle of a fog void of shapes. As I realize my lack of thoughts it becomes clear to me that maybe it isn’t reasonable. I used to be so different as I painted. My brush fell upon my lap in a loose grip as I look at the half colored canvas in a haze of new arising thoughts. Isn’t it interesting that I cover a canvas without a goal as my mind covers itself? As I continue to think disease enters my mind as my head starts to pound. Even focusing on a canvas has my eyes hurting through their worsening state. My hands hurt even though I had no purpose. My left arm once again fails to stay awake with the rest of my body in its state of being. What if I were to fall upon the same fate as my mother? I can’t stay in heat without getting horribly overworked and my body straining itself terribly. I can’t stand for any extended period of time or else the veins in my feet pop up from the red and swelling flesh that accumulated from my time on them. To this day I worry about getting the same affliction as my mother. That night of thought and paint only had a simple product. A flower upon a painted canvas of multiple colors without a rhythm. If only I could find out the secrets my mind holds now, but it is all too expensive for my impoverished family.


That night in the fumes of paint I thought about these things for what seemed as only second for me, but an hour in the time of others. With a foggy mind leading a train on without a purpose that can happen. Time slips away as a mind does. But at times it seems far too soon and rushed. Disease has that effect. Maybe in that time of thinking I could only think about MS being so random with a simple outline of beauty on the outer layer. A mind shifting as much as those contradicting colors. If only more knew to get an outlook the same as mine on the artwork. Then it wouldn’t have been a flower upon a flurry of color without a purpose. It would have been a disease.






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