I sat still, with my head turned to the side looking at the nurse. She nodded, tenderness in her eyes, and took my hand. Burrjjj the biopsy needle lowered and bore a hole deep into my breast. Instinctively I pulled back slightly. “Are you ok?” the doctor asked, his voice soft, “Any pain?” “I’m ok.” I took a deep breath and closed my eyes for a moment. “You pulled away a bit.” “I’m sorry,” I answered, my voice shaking. “It’s ok, everyone does, its a reflex. I anticipated it. We are still in the right place.” He paused, “You ok for me to continue?” “umm-hmm,” I replied, internally bracing myself. “If you feel any pain tell me, I’ll stop and numb you more.”
The brush in my hand feels cool and smooth. I dip it into the water jar to my right, lifting it out I scrape the side of the brush on the lip of the container. Excess water falls. Moving to the palette I swirl the brush in paint, picking up colour, then transfer that colour onto a Corelle plate. I repeat the process, cobalt blue, cadmium yellow, Windsor red, each holding a circle of space on the plate, an array of colours. Once again cleaning my brush with water I shift my attention to the faint pencil-drawing of a bird on the cold-press paper in front of me. I “paint” the bird with clear water making sure it spills outside the lines. I want to paint “loose,” messy. So begins the process of putting different colours into the wet area, letting them mix, then dry, then evaluate what I see, and do it again. And my bird slowly comes to life….