Blustery Tree

It’s been a long, busy week and for a good part of it I was managing a heady mix of pain and nausea. One of these on their own I can usually cope with, but both together is overwhelming.

This week’s also been emotionally fraught for me, and I’ve been struggling with some aspects of how Tourettes impacts on me and on those around me. These struggles aren’t new, but my resilience is low at the moment, and it’s all taken a toll.

So this morning I stayed in bed and had a slow start. Outside, the large trees I can see from my bedroom were being battered by the wind. I felt a strange kinship with one of these wind-whipped trees and I started to draw it.

The image is of a large tree in the foreground, with green and brown leaves. Across the top of the tree in white handwritten writing is the text of the poem outlined below in the blog post.

Back in May I created a set of images of these trees, each having text incorporated into it. Three months on, and at the cusp of another season change, it felt appropriate to reflect again on my life now through the medium of my trees. The text in the image reads:

I can hear you through the window
Erratic roars striking the air without purpose
Leaves twitching on branches that roll independently of each other
A mass of meaningless motion

Bending to a force that comes without warning or invitation
Are you at peace with the wind and how it shapes you?
Or do you push against it?

Solidity and strength are synonymous with trees
But I also see your fragility
And I wonder how you hold onto yourself in the storm.

Shambolic tree, sometimes I think you symbolise me
And sometimes I think you’re just a tree.

I certainly feel like I’ve been blown about by Tourettes this week. There are times when my body is frantic, but I feel strong and calm on the inside, and conversely there are other times when I appear to be serene, but my thinking is stormy. Thinking of Tourettes as a wind which picks up at some times and drops at others helped me feel a bit more settled after all this turbulence.

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