Or is it the other way around? As many of my readers know I was diagnosed with SIBO, small Intestinal Bacterial overgrowth, which led to a drastic diet change and years of antibiotics. I developed a very intimate understanding of the gut microbiome. As well as a respect I’d never had for my innards.
This was before my Kidney cancer, subsequent nephrectomy, and my most recent surgery removing a third of my colon. Before I became a human pin cushion, each piece of a large puzzle marked across my abdomen. I can only imagine the havoc, life the day following the blast, surviving species relocating, seeking to reclaim a spot in my microbiome. I feel like a walking universe, a god complex perhaps.
My dear friend DT²’s hubby is a professor of genome sciences at the UW. He and his colleagues study gut microbes and their findings were to be published in Cell Magazine. El thought, “What are the odds of knowing an artist that has a personal and intimate connection with the science?” In that vein he asked if I’d be interested in drawing art to go along with their article. If chosen from all submissions, we’d be featured on the cover of the magazine. It was a long shot.
As I declared this my year of yes, I agreed to give it a go, though this project intimidated the crap outta me. How to draw something artistic and still maintain the underlying scientific principals was utterly fascinating. I was motivated and scared at the same time. But there was nothing to lose by giving it a go. I had no attachment to an outcome.
“The year of Yes, What’s that?” you ask. I’ve been a longtime proponent of the power of “No”- not giving away too much, defining boundaries and making calculated choices. But “Yes” is born of chaos, adventure, and the possibilities of the unknown. After everything I’ve been through, after staring my own mortality in the eye I determined to do what scares me, to live fully. To say yes!
El and I met up to brainstorm. Some ideas, though magnificent like a microbe staring at himself in funhouse mirrors, I was unable to accomplish. In the end I managed three options, two of which were ultimately submitted. I also learned a ton.
One piece came easiest to me. It was more my personal style of fashion whimsy. This, my favorite image, was ultimately chosen for the magazine cover.
Holy crap, I’m a published artist. And proponent of the Kismet born of saying Yes!