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Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Courage of Expression

Occasionally, I find myself taking things for granted.

We are overwhelmed with forms of artistic expression, ranging from movies and music, to poetry and art. We are bombarded with these simple forms of creativity, and often we fail to understand the incredible courage it takes to share such an intimate and personal part of ourselves.

When an artist creates a painting, for example, they spend countless hours dreaming up the idea, gathering the supplies and time to complete the project, and actually putting a paintbrush to canvas. Through this creative process, the artist is able to entertain the viewer with a beautiful piece of visual art, evoking emotions and sending a message. Similarly, poets and authors spend days, weeks, and even years weaving together simple words into a story, whether fictional or inspired by a personal experience.

These forms of artistic expression take incredible courage. The artist or writer risks so much by sharing these deeply personal forms of art with others. They risk being criticized, judged, or even embarrassed. Sometimes, they risk being mocked in very public settings, such as social media. There is great risk when creating and sharing.

Thankfully, the world is full of brave artists and writers, those who have the courage to share their art, healing and entertaining others in the process. Can you imagine a world without art, music, books, or poetry?

As MS patients, we are challenged physically on a daily basis. We struggle, we fight, we strive to continue to live a fulfilling life. I have learned a great deal in the last year while blogging, and one of the most important lessons has been the need for community. We belong to an "elite group," those who are fighting this disease. If we can muster the strength and courage, we should each take a moment to share our story with others. We should take a chance, and share the deeply personal experience of living with MS. The one consistent message I receive from readers of this blog is: "I needed to feel like I was not alone."

Through creative expression, we are able to share our MS experience with the world. I have found artists with MS creating amazing works, I have read countless books and blogs written by MS patients, and I have recently heard beautiful music created by an MS patient. These forms of artistic expression are healing for both the artist as well as the audience. Those who choose to share openly are heroes in my opinion. These individuals show incredible courage and wisdom, using personal experiences to help guide others. Please check out the links below to view art, music, and other creative ventures exclusively by MS patients. Enjoy!

Kristin King: Singer/Songwriter with MS: Video of her song, "Impervious."

The MSAA 2015 Art Showcase: An incredible collection of art done exclusively by MS patients:


An amazing site for artists with MS: Share your art, view the art of others:


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