I could hit “edit” and with the click of a button wipe out those old posts to hide how long it has been since I’ve been active on this blog…or at the art table. Or anywhere for that matter. However, the juxtaposition of the description of my physical state, abilities, and activities 3 yrs ago with what life is like for me today is a story unto itself. More so, it is a large part of what Monkey Hill is all about: “Every one of us has more possibilities than limitations.” It is important that, as greatly as my physical state has deteriorated, I can prove that is still true.

You’ve heard the phrase, “Old age isn’t for sissies”? When I was not that much younger, old age was 86…not 46. Now that I’m 46 I’m trying my damndest not to be a sissy. I’m far too young to be this “old”. Too many body parts are failing to cooperate with my intentions and needs, though I’m grateful none have fallen off yet. I’m exhausted and in pain all the time. And I mean pain. I used to think I was in pain, years ago, but now I understand that I was just aching. There’s a reason the phrase is “aches and pains”…because the two are not the same things, not by a wide margin. Osteoporosis, arthritis, bone spurs, rotator cuff tendonitis, and herniated discs have me crying daily for my mommy, and she passed away years ago. I’ll tell you two things that go together even WORSE than toothpaste and orange juice (and I know you didn’t think anything could be worse)…epileptic seizures and herniated discs. Yup. You can’t heal if you mix those two. So I find out the hardest way. My injuries are constantly aggravated or re-injured, hence, something that usually heals in several weeks has kept me largely immobile for going on a couple of years with no light at the end of the tunnel.

This is the juxtaposition I was referring to. In 2012 I was sitting up all night working furiously on an entire art exhibition, readying a gallery for an opening night, with joy! I recall moving the furniture and art displays around “just so”. Spending delicious hours playing the hostess-with-the mostest after hanging a whole gallery full of art to my satisfaction. Now I can barely raise my arms to wash my hair. I can’t vacuum the rug or pick up a basket of laundry or a bag of groceries. I can manage to get out for only as long as it takes for a dose of pain medication to wear off, which depends on whether someone drives me somewhere and how much walking or standing is involved, and at most it’s 3 hrs on a good day. I keep wondering, “Where is that woman who paddled 50km of river and double portaged a 13km trail in one day after breaking camp in the morning and then set up a new camp that night, gathered firewood, and sat around eating dinner, laughing and reminiscing under the Northern Lights?” Yeah…I want her back. All I have left of her now are her memories and the little stones she brought back from those trips sitting in my kitchen garden. And a great hat. A really great hat that has travelled hundreds of kilometres of some seriously wild terrain that now sits on the head of a woman who don’t live so wild no more.

Monkey Hill Creative Arts is owned and funded by Dorian Hill, founded in memory of our daughter, who’s nickname was “Monkey”. For 15yrs she made everyone around her laugh until they cried and left us all one hell of a lot wiser and more compassionate. For someone who was supposed to be severely disabled, those are some seriously profound abilities. She couldn’t tie her own shoes, but her astoundingly keen intuition would have humbled a zen master. Monkey taught us we are not our bodies; never to judge people by how gracefully they move, or can’t. We are all innately graced and blessed in some way. Look. See. Appreciate. Learn.

Note: I appreciate brevity…I’m just not good at it. If you’re still reading, thanks. I write like I talk and I’ve never had a conversation as short as an email. 

Forcing my hand. The reason for the post title comes from an email notifying me that the web host provider had taken the liberty of renewing the webspace and domain name for another year charging the cost to the credit card on file. This was new. Every year for 15 yrs since I’d first registered the space and bought the domain ( until I sold it to Dorian Hill to use for his business, Monkey Hill, this provider sent an invoice first giving me (now just the web facilitator) the option of declining to continue the service. But…nope. Not this year.

Damn. Wow.

Monkey Hill Create Arts closed its brick-and-mortar business and became an online business intended to sell donated art with the intent to forward the proceeds to charities supporting artists with invisible disabilities in the honour, memory, spirit, and lessons learned from our daughter. I was to be the main provider of that donated art, but I haven’t been able to work in years, and my prognosis is not looking any better, so we intended to decline the services when the invoice came. However, the invoice came “paid in full”. Crap! Simply saying “No thanks. Your services are no longer required” was my coward’s way out, you see. Now, as the facilitator, the contact person, I had to contact the provider and say the words: I quit. I give up. I’m done. I can’t. I can’t do it. I can’t do anything anymore.

Back to the wall…I couldn’t do it. Creativity itself is optimism. And every one of us has more possibilities than limitations.

When I get the website program working, and a few more art pieces put together, the new website URL is Time for a fresh start. I’m not who I used to be. I never will be again. I need to admit it and accept it. Do what I can with what I have and let it be enough. Until the site is up and running, join me here on WordPress, and I’ll keep you updated on Twitter and Facebook as well. There’s more to life and living than just the .biz to keep us entertained and connected, on many levels.



What interests me most, and has become my full-time occupation, is becoming the most human being possible to the best of my ability. Creating art, enjoying the art and company of my fellow artists, good music, and fabulous food inspires and eases mind and spirit; it is both a boon and balm. Creativity itself is Optimism. "Every one of us has more abilities than disabilities." ~ Stephanie K. Hansen

2 responses to “FORCING MY HAND”

  1. kvwordsmith says :

    VERY well written – happy, sad, poignant, clever, real – a good mix.

    Got me a little teary, and I already know lots of the bak story.

    The part I want to know – as do you I am sure – is what the new site will be if you can’t work much – a few select. distinct offerings? Yours only, or other artists with inivisible diseases?

    Well no wonder you have been down – you have been processing some life-smashing which-way-do-I-go now paths.

    I think,in addition to physical art, this new site will have more “art of living – even with/in spite of disbilities” insight. Ifor one am looking forward to it.

    Kerry Scherer

    Glass Art:

    Creative Writing:

    Make art.  Make a difference.

    Imagine a better world. Then go create it.


    • says :

      Well bless your beautiful heart, Kerry Ellen! You caught me mid-edit. LOL I didn’t expect anyone to be looking. Like…ever, really, after this outrageously long “time out”. Thought I’d have to beg people for months on end to come back and look before anyone did. I was looking for my camera cord so I could take a picture of that hat I mentioned and add it to the post for proof and posterity.

      Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. For now the art donated to Monkey Hill will come only from myself but who knows where the future of Monkey Hill will lead? “A few select, distinct offerings” would be the perfect way to state it. Thank you for that!

      Have a great day and thank you for joining me. Now at least I know I won’t die an isolated online death over here in my old haunt. ;^P


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