Welcome to Daphne Mennell’s Blog page

Today is my very first Blog entry, and already I have writers block! Well, I have decided not to take myself so seriously so I hope you don’t either!
When I tripped and broke my right arm on January 1st this year, it was forced upon me that this year was not going to start off the way I had planned! Now to fill you in a bit about me, I am the sort of person who tries to find the good in a situation. You know. when life gives you lemons, make lemonade sort-of-person. However, my first reaction was tears, and not just from pain, but from the shear deep disappointment of not getting my way. Ever feel that way? Next came the confrontation that this WAS bloody painful, awkward and that it would take a lot more recover time than I was hoping for. So God, if it is not going to be my plan, then what IS the plan?
I saw breaking my right arm as an “opportunity” to use my left more and become ambidextrous. (Yes, I am righthanded). I saw myself within the week back in the studio
and learning how to paint with my left hand being crazy and expressive as never before. Well that didn’t happen. It was a surprise to me how much energy healing takes. I mean you really have to give up doing anything else. No choice! I had seen that happen to others but it hadn’t registered that this is true all the time. I quickly found this out. The body was demanding that I keep still and there was to be no arguments.
Never-the-less I knew it was good for me to keep up the effort so I started writing with my left hand in a journal. My goodness! You can only imagine! Still, I knew I was
challenging my brain and that is always a good thing right? I could literally feel new little pathways in the brain being painstakingly shovelled out by hand with a toothpick in order to make the necessary movements with my left hand. It was often discouraging, but now I would say I ‘m probably at a grade 5 or 6 level. Totally legible! I see it as success.

The beginning of February found me making my way out to the studio with the hopes of painting with my left hand. I decided to start with painting abstracts as my movements
were still not so predictable. It was very hard. I am not that confident with abstracts. I found that I needed to be gentle with myself, to abandon any expectations. To be forgiving and to honour the process. Most of all, to trust myself. Now this is probably good advice for anyone anytime, but it was really necessary now. As I applied this attitude I started to rediscover art in a new way. I started to cherish the opportunity that I had been given. Truly!! Even though I am still on the slow recovery to full use of my right hand, I know I will look back at this event with gratitude for all it has been teaching me.
I will end this for today leaving you with another quote I found which seems to fit. Thanks for joining me here. If you would like to leave a comment, I invite you to send me an email or message me on my Facebook site. Perhaps I will include them in the next instalment of “Off the Easel”. In the meantime, here’s to wishing you peaches instead of lemons!