111 Days

Dedicated to Margaret Kiss. (aka Marge Sr)

“Sometimes the weather forecasters aren’t always right” – Marge Sr

When I observe that number – quickly calculated by Google – it seems so poignant. Yet, that is the number of days it took to turn my life completely upside down.

The time it took for my personal relationships to completely reform and be reevaluated. Yes, alas some didn’t survive – but some are frankly starting roots of regrowth after a long hibernation – like hardy Fijnbos seeds.

The time it took where I missed out on my goddaughter growing in her mother’s tummy. More so, missing her mother, but she keeps in contact diligently.

The time I spent inside. My time divided between therapists, specialists, hospitals but mostly in bed. Fucking bed.

The time it took from being relatively healthy to be diagnosed with a very rare neuromuscular disorder.

The time it took for me to realise I need to develop a new style of creating art.

The amount of time for my studio to be dismantled, and conceptualise a new – Transverse Myelitis friendly design.

The time it took for me to carefully plan an outing with friends that respect my health enough so that we could have a party.

111 days to dress into something other than pajamas.

Somehow, that reality is sinking in only now. When your loving mother drives across the country, multilpe times to be with you. The last time simply to paint your doors to cheer you up. Yet, even in her eyes I can see a glint of concern.

Whenever artists take on a new style, they are filled with insecurity. I needed to start developing a new style, or my soul would crumble. 

So throughout the above experiences, my life being completely in disarray – there was one lady that kept me going. Margaret Kiss or ‘Marge Sr’. At the dawn of 75 she daily reminded me on her instagram story that you should treat everyone with love, kindness and respect. I had a brainwave – I screenshot one of her daily inspirations. And I started drawing it on the new tool I bought to try and express myself.

I am afraid she might not like it much, but it was healing for me, it drew me through these very strange and testing 111 days. It also spawned a new way of creating art, inspiring me to test my limits. I used her mantra of ‘treat everyone with respect, love and kindness’ and applied it to myself. Loving myself. Respecting myself. And being kind to myself. And more over, being patient with my art.

I can understand her trepidation, as her daughter is a public figure, and she herself by proxy became known in the Bravo world as Marge Sr. She might see some crazed fan, where I see a 75 year old lady that has the discipline to still go to work everyday and still encourage her followers.

She is one of a few people that could inspire me – and it kept me grounded. She joined my set of eccentric set of anchors. Anchors that know who they are.

I thought that this musing will be more existential – as the process of compiling it in my head leading up to felt like it. But, perhaps I will read this back and it will envoke these first 111 days.

I trust when I muse about 222 days it will tell a different story.