Diabetes Art Day 2012: my experience

by Cynthia


Hello and good morning! I posted Saturday on the Facebook page for Diabetes Light about Diabetes Art Day.  I welcomed you to join in this exciting event. How many of you are participating? It is not too late. Lee Ann Thill, founder of Diabetes Art Day, says it can be a healing experience and it sure was for me!

She started Diabetes Art Day three years ago. You can participate from anywhere in the world. This is the first time I’ve taken part. Why have I waited so long? I guess I didn’t really see myself as an artist. You see, I have not created art since I was a child. So who was I to participate in Diabetes Art Day?

For some reason this year was different for me. I wanted to create art and have a healing experience. No judgment. Just creating openly. Over the last several days I have had ideas rolling around in my mind for a diabetes art project. I realized last night that I forgot to pick up glue to make it happen. I still might do this…

At just about 12:30am last night – WAY past my bedtime, I sat down at my desk. I grabbed a piece of paper from my printer and started to write a poem. Then another. And another. I ended up with 5 poems in a very short span of time (maybe 30 minutes?). As I wrote, the words just flowed through me. Tears started to drop from my eyes onto the paper. It made writing some letters difficult as I tried to write on the soggy paper wet from my tear stained eyes.

My crying felt healing. Like pain that I didn’t not even know was inside was being released. Lee Ann was right!

A theme came forth.

I am sorry.

I am sorry? What was this about? Where does it come from? I believe it was my unconscious speaking to me. Somewhere deep inside I may feel a deep sorrow for the ways I chastise my own body about having this disease. This same theme came up for me at another time in my life too — last summer after completing an 8 week MBSR course (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). Maybe I’ll share more about it another time.

Here it is. As I know you will not be able to read the words of the poem from the picture very easily, I have typed them out here.


My Hands

You put up with a lot, dear hands. I am sorry for your pain. I am sorry for your suffering.

You have felt too many pricks to count at this point.

I am sorry.

I know sometimes you hurt.

I know sometimes I do not change my lancet often enough and this only increases the pain.

I know I prick again & again my right pinky and ring finger and they get really beat up.

I’m sorry.

You’ve held a LOT of needles with these hands.

So carefully and tenderly you willingly inflict pain to your own body…

just to keep yourself–


I am sorry.

I am sorry that your nails know how to tap bubbles out of a cartridge.

I’m sorry that I’ve missed and poked you a few times with a syringe.

I am sorry that you know the delicate balance of holding up flesh with the fingers on your left hand while the fingers on your right hand carefully release and hit Go!

Go to a needle that slices through your skin.

Go to a needle that hurts so bad you scream.

Go to a needle.

I am sorry.

You are only doing what I asked of you – releasing a needle and pushing a needle into flesh.

I am sorry hands for all your pain and suffering.

I thank you hands, for keeping me alive.

p.s. Just realizing how funny yet true to myself I was that I created my diabetes art project solely with pencil. I love writing with pencil so much and they are often the only thing I use to write with. And, just remembering too that one of my favorite musicians, Jewel, has a song about hands…


Blessings, light and love,


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