White Dog Art

mystic dreamer

In Art Watercolor Gallery, Black Bears, Wild Things on March 28, 2017 at 2:24 pm

watercolor 3/2017  8 x 10

I am dedicating this painting to honor the healing flute music of Carlos Nakai.  When I was 3 years old a groundbreaking surgery was performed on my left hand and ring finger to remove a bone tumor. The innovative operation was very successful but not much hope was given that I would ever use my ring finger again. I was just so fortunate that the finger was saved. So when I was about 6 years old and I wished to learn to play the flute I was repeatedly discouraged and told that it would be impossible for me to learn because of my stunted and immobile finger. Since I kept pleading  to try, a teacher was found and a silver flute supplied. I practiced and practiced and by the time I was 10 I won a music contest playing the flute that everyone said that I would not be able master. In the learning process my finger had become fully mobile so much so that I was able  play my instrument with excellence. Still, today I have full mobility of my hand and finger. I do believe that this magical instrument was the mystic healer for my body.

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  1. How absolutely wonderful. Gorgeous art and beautiful story. I think children know what they have to do to be well, even if they aren’t aware of why they do what they do. It’s an instinctive thing that allows them to save themselves. You KNEW how to heal yourself and you even won a contest. Your body told you what to do and you did it, which healed your finger. When I was 7 1/2 I had one of the first open heart surgeries and was told to not do any exercise or strain myself in any way at all. When I finally came home from the hospital I get Scarlet Fever. As soon as I was free, I ran and ran and ran. I snuck into the gym at my school and hung from the bars and did everything they told me not to do. I ran a mile home from school and waited in the alley until I could breath and my heart stopped pounding, so my mother wouldn’t know what I was doing. You knew the flute would heal you and I knew running and pushing myself would heal me. Best things we ever did. Kids often know what they need…adults need to listen to them. I just love this Gretchen.

    • For sure. Kids and dogs, cats and all animals rock. They don’t have the well developed egos as we humans wearing adult bodies. It’s good to consider what they show us even if we are too rigid to recognize the truth of their actions. So glad you survived your heart surgery and are here with us now. You always brighten my mornings.

  2. Gretchen thank you so much for sharing this story. I love this image. Art making is the passageway to and from the divine.

  3. This turned out beautifully! I never heard this story of your childhood. It’s a reaching back to a time in your life and a lovely dedication. A gorgeous painting!

  4. Our lives are filled with our stories. I thought you would like to see the finished product.

  5. Talented work illustrates a steady hand and focused eye, gained after
    years of patience. Difficulty in early years strengthen us for adulthood.
    Beautiful work Gretchen

    • Thanks Eddie. What you say about difficulty in childhood. It can strengthen you for your life. Children who face adversity and learn from it gain tools for coping with the rest of their life.

  6. Bravo. Even at very young age you exhibited bravery and passion. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story.

    • I think, Linda, that I have great resolve and am not easily turned away. My four children all say that I am stubborn. Perhaps that is true but how is one to not follow a path that is not right for them?

  7. Reblogged this on THE BeZINE and commented:
    Tomorrow we begin a new month and a month without sharing something of Gretchen Del Rio’s would just not be a good month. Gretchen Del Rio dedicated this painto to the Native American flautist Carlos Nakai. If you’ve never encountered his work, you’ve really missed something. The esteem in which he is held is well earned.

  8. What a beautiful painted tribute to Carlos Nakai and the healing sounds of the native flute that grow from your life story. There is something so holistic about the translucence in your art!

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