The Swan and the Arrow
I present 9 diptychs from my developing series "The Swan and the Arrow". The images include my own haiku-like writing taken from both of our personal journals. The title, "The Swan and the Arrow," is a reference to Siddarthas' memory of once having been a great, but wounded swan. This is metaphor for the narrative of my late-husband, John. He was in high health only 3 months prior to a diagnosis of terminal, Giant B-cell Lymphoma, Stage IV. His cancer was the end result of "State-side" exposure to Agent Orange and radiation during the Vietnam War. John was a vibrant, fearless, athletic man. He had a driving curiosity for novel experiences, a wonderers' spirit with a deep zeal for discovery, and expressed the healing greatness of humor in life. During his emergency admission to the Kansas University Cancer Center John asked me to not put my artwork aside during the course of his treatment. From that moment. and for the next 18 months, I began to document John and myself, private bodily care routines, home and clinical environments, recurrent medical crises and life threatening emergencies. Also, I photographed the maze and mountains of equipment, medicines, I.V.s, tubing, machines, types of rooms, medical staff, time of day and night, and every detail that our eyes saw and hands/skin touched, the smells and sounds of the joint experience of our last-of-life together. I also kept journals for both of us recording our thoughts and dreams. Late at night I often took to jotting down haiku thoughts like brief emergencies born of the stresses and sufferings, but also the mix of profound joys. It was an intensely intimate way of care-taking that lasted from the summer solstice 20 June 2006 until his death at 2am on the winter solstice 19 December 2007. The following day was our wedding anniversary.
After 10 days of freezing winds and howling snowstorms, the sky cleared itself of vehement clouds and the temperature rose to 57 degrees. That last morning the sun lit up our hospice room like a great white swan taking flight.
and the last 2 years of his life.
I have 1000's of images. http://www.anaflora.com/articles/ana-saints/saint-9.html