Saturday, April 3, 2010

defining courage even when it hurts...

The fatigue is my companion for now and I do feel the fear deep inside my body. Sleeping and moving only when necessary; I only get up to escape to the back deck to drink in the sunshine's radiant waves. The winds picked up to 50 m.p.h. so sitting outside became a futile endeavor if I wanted to keep my eyes opened. I felt the pressure in my chest that rain was trying to hit our earth...but with the winds the moisture evaporated before it hit the ground. My much awaited film I ordered from Amazon arrived ...the poetic life of a French painter Seraphine Louis/ Senilis,France. I highly recommend this to all who at times hit a roadblock in their desires and energies to find their authentic voice in making their sacred marks. Seraphine lived an outsider's life as a housekeeper/laundress/butcher assistant...all mundane work to keep herself housed and fed. She experienced ridicule and discouragement from the more educated and fortunate community members but lived a simply miraculous life and was found by a German art collector who discovered Picasso and Brach and Rousseau. Their relationship was one of empathy and compassion and a growing respect for her brilliant colors that she hand mixed from earthly vegetation, juices and blood and used wax from her Catholic community cathedral sanctuary. She has a strong, devout belief and devotion to the Catholic church and the nuns were there in many of her darkest hours--the world wars, the global economy, the prejudice for a different sexuality, racial and political beliefs. The photography, the soft gentle views of the camera, the roughness of a harsh existence, evolves into almost magical colorful compositions in her paintings on wood, scraps of papers, linens and finally to large canvases two meters or more in size. Maybe it was vicariously witnessing this woman's sorrow-filled journey and my situation that I realized I am going to be strong again in the time needed to heal. I heard a lost definition of courage...."courage is fear that is prayed for"... I do not know where I heard this but for now these seven small words are comforting my body. I really appreciate all the supportive loving words and prayers my friends have given to my spirit. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart


  1. Mary Helen, just continue to rest, sleep, heal...remember, the world is in dire need of beautiful souls as yourself, so take care, my friend. As for this particular artist, I'm going to look her up...never heard of her, but there are so many great artists out there who just live their lives simply, holy and grateful for what God has given them.

    Many blessings,

  2. The movie sounds wonderful- I haven't seen it yet. Isn't it magnificent how people can create such inspiring things (I refer to both the artist and the movie).

    Much love and light to you dear one.