Hi, my names Benjamin and in 2011/11/07 I was diagnosed with Y.O.P.D ( Young Onset Parkinson’s disease ). You’d think that’s where my story would begin. Truly I wish it was but this story starts about a year and a half earlier.
I was a retail guy, I’d been in mid-executive level management since I was 17. I was pretty good at it but then things started to change for no apparent reason. Little did I know at the time but the disease had already started to effect my cognitive abilities as well as my physical status too. I started to miss deadlines, conference calls and emails. My body, neck,back,hips and knees started to ache and at times cause me unbearable amounts of pain. In 2009 my home life started to fail as my decision making and physical abilities started to change. I started sleep on the sofa.
Then one morning after doing back to back retail store inventories it hit me, I woke in more pain and stiffness than I’ve ever been in my life… I was scared. I was 39 just, and I this new sensation I could tell was different. This new pain was deep, deep in my body and brain. Then came the realization that every “guy” who hates taking pills and going to the doctor does… I admitted defeat and started the journey of figureing out what was happening to me.
So go figure the guy who has been active all his life, never liked taking pills and is a HUGE baby when in pain gets a “Pain Dr” two of them actually. A GP ( family doctor ) who is a great man but has no clue what to do for me besides make referrals and we can’t fail to mention the medical system that’s controlled by the big pharmacies….. Well you can imagine what the next year and a half has in store for me. Dr visits, massive amounts of weird random neuro-pills as they start the process of elimination…. See PD ( Parkinson’s disease ) has no test besides a genetics test to solidify it’s DX so the doctors basically have to eliminate everything else before they cross into the land of the neurological disorders. So 8 MRI’s countless x-rays and blood tests later in November of 2011 I’m diagnosed with PD by a very experienced neurologist here in my home town. A month later I get my second opinion from our regions top specialist. I have young onset Parkinson’s disease. Then thins get scary.
Im given my first dose of “Sinemet” or carbidopa/levadopa a compound made to increase the bodies ability to more effectively use the dopamine that the body naturally produces. Imagine that the dopamine in your body as the stuff that takes the information in your body to the places it needs it. Like “swing your arms” or “take a step” well the less dopamine in our brains the more Likely that “take a step” message won’t get where it needs to go. It may come out as a leg twitch or a very large exaggerated step, maybe and most often that misplaced message will simply not come and the leg (mine) will just not move and the momentum of walking will make me stumble or become off balance.
Well that’s enough about Parkinson’s, I also happen to paint. It’s something I’ve done on and off since I was 6 when my father first gave a real canvas. Surprisingly this very same canvas was in my dad’s stuff when he passed in 07 and now thankfully it’s in mine.
Well I’ve said more than I intended yet nowhere near enough. I look forward to sharing this new adventure in life, love and art with all of you.
There be paint on these hands again!! Woot!! Here is a very brief look at my current work in progress.
And then another;
Here we are seeing just the first layers of color and texture. I intend to add a secondary layer of both color and texture at a later point using the same technique seen in the “Love Language” collection.”
Well then my dear friend and family I hope your all doing well. Much love and may all your dreams come true.
Whether I want to admit it or not another chapter I my life has started…. One could even say it’s a journey I’ve been on for a while though now I can see a tad more clearly the mistakes of my past and the lessons from which I’ve grown.
Today it feels as though my world is far more complex than I’d like with me still trying to put together some type of safety net in regard to my pd and my future…… At least one that doesn’t have me dying alone in some creepy forgotten hospital bed. Not something I’m looking forward to. Anyhow….. I digress… Please enjoy the next creation from the new Gallery and Studio space.
11.5 x 39.5″
400$ / 225£
**2015 Love Language collection**
This new series is a moderate culmination of techniques I’ve been using for many years. Keeping with my traditional use of texture, washes and glazes I’ve started adding a secondary or primary top texture. Modeled after ancient Mesopotamian scripts and inspired by the most nurturing love I’ve ever known. I’ve titled this next collection “Love Language” I hope to use my artistic voice to speak a little more loud and clearly this year. For me this year will be full of trials and challenges I both know and can’t foresee but after this last year I’ve learned one thing clearly. That change is inevitable and bad things do happen to good people but how we choose to react and handle those “life lessons” is truly what defines us. I’ll never stop trying to learn and love. I’ll never stop giving all of myself to everything I do and I’ll never give up on hope. So please as always. Be brave, Be Bold and thrive in the life you have…… You never know how things will change.
After being gone for a while I’m never sure how to start these posts. Do I say Hi, how’s it going? Or gosh! Thanks for coming by? All I know is it’s been to long in between posts and there has been so much going on I’m not even sure where to start.!?
1. New office/gallery/studio
2. Starting to ready my brain for the writing of “The Book”.
Really life is going fairly well all things considered. The Parkinson’s is kicking my ass pretty hard but my heart and head are in a better place than they’ve been in a longtime. Now that the gallery and studio have moved into their own locations I’m hoping that the painting will start to commence again.
Honestly though between getting the new painting space ready, meetings and trying to regain some form of a “Normal” life. I’m pretty much exhausted all the time but I’d rather live tired than not at all….
**thoughts on change
At first I thought all the travel last year was a great way to work through some life issues then it turned into an escape mechanism as I struggled to yet again re-find myself which sadly I’d been trying to do since my diagnosis in 2011.
It seems I’ve land in a peaceful place for the time being, as a very dear friend of mine and I used to ask each other . My head,heart, body and soul? Are doing well. 🙂 here’s a few quick pics of the completed gallery space. I’ve have some set backs in the overall plan but I’m not one to give up so we’ll see what the future brings.
Well unbelievably I started this post over a week ago. Typing isn’t really my strong suite anymore so I’ll end this post as it sits. I miss writing and sharing here a great bit, I have so many hopes and dreams for this new life I’m trying to grow and nurture. I just hope I get to enjoy some of it before my body decides to stop. Recent events have put a stop to all of my travel plans this year except for the Parkinson’s events that are planned. I’d hoped to make it to the UK but on SSDI and the painting not happening I doubt I’ll see my UK peeps this year 😦
Anyhow much love and light, I hope the world is kind and generous with you and you to it. For if not you, then who??
Just green tendencies I see these days with strokes of blue and yellow. Red for the pain and white for the light. Such passages are these we travel. What turn is the right one, should I go over or under or simple forget it all and fade away as I walk this next path.
Light echoes in dark corners pulling back the veil of truth, just glimpses I wish I never seen. Passages, some are easy some are not…. And are important.