benign \bih-NYNE\ adjective
*1 : of a gentle disposition : gracious
2 a : showing kindness and gentleness b : favorable, wholesome
3 a : of a mild type or character that does not threaten health or life; especially : not becoming
cancerous b : having no significant effect : harmless
(definition from Webster's dictionary, online version)

I don't know if the pattern in this image will stir the same visual memory as it does for me, but the petal-like gray and green pattern was drawn from the diagram depicting cancerous cells at my OB-GYN's office. They were simultaneously stirring for obvious reasons and beautifully reminiscent of chrysanthemum petals.

My grandmom died In September of 1999, not from cancer, thankfully, but from other health complications. While her writing is on this particular piece, the piece is as much an ode to both of my grandmothers. My mom's mom, my MeMa, did die of breast cancer, so when the question is asked at the doctor's office, I say yes, knowing somewhere in my genes I may be predisposed to those petal-like spreading monsters.

I don't mind, I can take all the precautions in the world, but everything has it's own way.

My connection with these matriarchal figures is deep, since I never knew either grandfather. In all reality, my mom's mom died while I was still very young, but these women are the farthest extent of my background. I often feel "ethnically identity-less" as a white woman, no deep traditions to pass forward, just a blank history. My "heritage" comes from what I can gather of these women and their rich personal histories. With generation gaps and limited communication, I won't ever really know everything, but the small traces and shadows delineate their lives as I catalogue the benign remnants.


Anonymous said...

Found you Wolfie through Ms. Fanciful. So happy you know a bit about your Grandma and Mema, I bet if you do a little diggin' you can get some more info. hopefully! Wishing you everything great to include fab. health.

Unknown said...

wow, so gorgeous. i love the places that artists get inspired to make art! i am with you- my grandmother died a few months ago from cancer, so i know it is lurking in my family line somewhere, too.... kind-of scary. how nice, though, that you turned it into something so visually appealing. it's like taking the power away from it in a way.....