I design and make cards. I have done so for years but it wasn't until 2002 that I went beyond the "print off a card from the computer, sign and send". Up until then I would handwrite a meaningful message suitable for the occasion and the picture on the card would take secondary import. Heck, it wouldn't really have any import. Who am I kidding? Half the time, I just invested an hour and some cash in Hallmark anyway.
Until February 2o02, that is. I was slammed with a wicked case of the flu which left me and my immune system battered and bruised, to the point the doctors guessed I might have leukemia. They ultimately decided that it was an auto-immune reaction causing my overwhelming fatigue, bruising, and lack of brain functioning. I couldn't walk. Could hardly talk. Working was out of the question. Most frightening, I couldn't put coherent thoughts together nor could I tell colors anymore.
For a while, I didn't care but then my lack of finances interfered with congratulating friends on their birthday, sympathizing with family on losses, letting folks know I appreciated their care and concern. For some reason I was surfing and discovered three things that would sow the seeds of creation in my soul. I discovered Creative Papers on line which had scrap packs of paper of all colors and textures. It hit me that if I sorted the papers by color, with a little help from my husband, I could relearn the color spectrum.
I didn't get the paper for cards. I just had the paper for skill recovery. But what could I do with all that paper now that I had it? Cards. What else did I have? Time. I had never had extended time to sit and really dream and design before. Time to put prayer into the cards' creation, thought into the right words for the occasion. I had pastoral experience to know what NOT to say. Personal experience to know life throws stuff at you and the importance of hearing that others care. I realized as I surfed that quote sites like bartleby.com and quotegarden.com gave me the right words when I could not think of them on my own.
The right words, the right medium, and time....tools for creation I would have never discovered if it hadn't been for an illness stopping me in my tracks. "Manure for the flower garden". Beauty and caring out of suffering and ugliness. It was in the cards....