The diagram of health in and out of balance haunts me (see blog entry “Out of Balance”). The misaligned wedges seem to be a metaphor for my eclectic life. During my childhood, my mother’s perpetual quest was that I should not grow up to be like her – in want of a self-defining career. She encouraged me to explore, to try many different things, and I followed her lead.

My Mother's Wishes
Her efforts however were to no avail. When grownups asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I responded with no hesitation, “A nothing, just like Mommy.” She was funny, creative, generous. I didn’t care that she wasn’t a “Something.” Secretly, I had my own ideas about the perfect career.

Juggling Tadpole
The circus did not sweep me up. Though not a believer in such things, I have felt condemned since first reading my astrological chart: Cancer: Born between June 22 and July 22; creative, nurturing, indecisive. I have changed my focus too frequently to feel accomplished in any one area . Did this inability to set long term goals ultimately lead to frustration and stress, and stress to cancer?

Out of Alignment

If I had exercised singleness of purpose, would I have fought off the disease? One thing is certain. Getting a cancer diagnosis focuses all one’s energies.


8 thoughts on “Focus

  1. Janet Byrd

    My dearest Judith,
    If you focused on just one thing in your earaly life, you would not be the WHOLE and WONDEROUS woman that you are today and the very reason we all love you JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!!! xoxoxoxo

  2. admin Post author

    Thank you Janet – Yes, since this blog is a retropective, I am displaying my process as I stumbled through – and hopefully gathered a little wisdom and generosity toward my self along the way. (-:

  3. Iyoume

    Dear Dear Judith,

    My dear, you are an artist, through and through! That is who or what you are….you have always struck me as a very focused artist, yes, who explored various expressions of art, but always, always art… from my vantage point of having the privilege of knowing your over time, you have always been a something….a truly wonderful, creative, original, authentic artist. Meryl Streep is an actress…and a singer! so is she unfocused? Joni Mitchell is a singer…and a painter!! So is she unfocused? I’m not sure what cultural construct you are trying to force your life into, but in my opinion, this is not the right one. Yes, my dear, you have had to focus on this dis-ease….but you have done so well at focussing because every time you have painted, drawn, acted, mimed, written, danced, cooked, and created in myriad of ways….you have focused. So please be kind and don’t lay this one on yourself. Remember xeno-estrogens, chemicals, plastics, pollution….strong “playas” in the cancer lexicon….and music, dance, joy, comfort, animal friends, people friends and lovers, art of all kinds……are the strong shields and healers that cancer could not beat. You are loved and you love and that is the definition of a whole and holistic human being.

  4. admin Post author

    Thank you Iyoume. Gathering wisdom is such a slow process. And you were there joining me during many of those early years of exploration!

  5. nancy elliot

    Iyoume said pretty much what i wanted to say, though better than i would have expressed it.
    I do not find it useful to try and find a reason or fault when something bad happens; too much like Pat Robertson! I know we all go to these places for a sense of reason or explanation, but i have gotten better about catching myself and redirecting that energy. I think you do that with your incredible creative output which benefits many others via your process and art. oh…and through wonderful SOUP!

  6. Iyoume

    oh yes wonderful soup!!

    Judith didn’t you know I was always in awe of your artist self? still am?

    I think of you as a Renaissance Woman….kind of like a female Leonardo da Vinci…our time and our culture doesn’t understand and is therefore fearful of the Renaissance woman/man. Look at our children in public schools….no art, no music, no recess, 20 minutes for lunch and tests tests tests….the opposite of what they need to really explore their art soul.

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