I'm in this strange upside down world right now....one where I am intensely joyful & grateful for my little family, my loved ones, my home, my abilities and the life options I have available to me. But in the next moment I am buffeted by waves of grief, loss and pain over what I no longer have. The abilities I have lost, the options that are now gone from my life, and the loss of my boy Fred. Grief and I are old friends so I know to make space when she shows up...but Lord...she has been showing up a lot.
She comes out of nowhere and just steals my breath away....and the temptation is to run and hide and bury myself in something else. But I know it doesn't help, I just have to lean in and let her wash over me. She loves to show up during intense joy, like when I'm playing with our pups and I'm laughing...and a memory of Fred doing something silly pops into my head...and suddenly I'm living in this storm of pain and joy. I miss him so intensely, it feels like I can't breath at times. Or the other day when I was so proud of myself for having managed to get my deconditioned body to complete a 15 minute recumbent bike ride....and then I remembered how easy it used to be for me to strap 40 lbs of camera gear to my back and go hike and shoot....and then there she is, inviting me to grieve and lean into the pain of lost potential and remembered self.
Which brings me to this illustration...trust me it will make sense. Fred used to do this thing that would always make his Dad and I laugh....he would lay upside down with a silly grin on his face and just watch the world while he continuously wagged. At one point I remember the two of us laid upside down on the floor beside him to try to understand why he does it. Our conclusion was it gave him a new perspective. So it shouldn't surprise you that to continue to feel connected to Fred, I routinely look at the world upside down. And it helps life make sense. And that is how it came to be that this bat became a focus of my creativity during this time.