If we wish to understand how healing happens, we shall have to resuscitate our imaginations. We shall have to honor that aspect of ourselves that is unbounded in space and time, that is immortal and unites us with others - Larry Dossey MD


Language of Consolation

Over the past few weeks, as I have walked the post operative pathway with my husband Darryl, whose bowel has been reconstructed after eight months chemotherapy, the dove of peace and love has flown south each day, bringing images of comfort and consolation. Each day, she has tapped gently at my window, flown in and generously given me time, her undivided attention - that most valuable of human resources.

Each day this gentle dove has bought with her soothing words and images, words and carefully chosen images of reassurance, faith, comfort and hope. Her arrival has signaled the start of a new day and been a timely reminder that I am being thought of and cared for, nourished and supported in a way that I have not known before.

The visual images that this bird of peace has faithfully carried back and forth between us have made visible fears and anxieties, and, in doing so, facilitated a healing process. These images have served not only as a comforter, but have provided an outlet for emotional pain, a safe container to express the inexpressible. They have offered hope, that last remaining treasure from Pandora's box.

Over the past weeks the arts have been a testimony that life's trials can be survived. They have done this by facilitating mental shifts and, in doing so have provided me with new found strength and grace.

Part autobiography, part metaphor, the messages expressed through this art form have provided an outlet, actively assisting me as I have sought meaning in the face of the battle against cancer. These images have initiated a change, have given strength and enabled me to transcend suffering, pain and sheer exhaustion. They have enabled me to pick up the pieces and continue when I felt like fleeing. They have guided me on my new found pathway.

The visual images the dove has, so willingly, carried have helped me make sense of what has been happening and given direction at a time when I have felt directionless. They have provided a quiet harbor to shelter in, while the storm raged. But above all these images bought positive energy and healing, carried good news and signaled a new dawn rising.

Sweet dove of peace! You have woven a banner with your magic, shown the power of the written word, of imagery and metaphor. May you be blessed always and rewarded tenfold.

Heather Blakey July 2000