haart-attack-story-plane-crash-heartcurrents

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Prologue

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This is a story, in images and works, about the journey of healing after a heart attack.

In September 2000, I woke up from a dream of a malfunctioning red four-cylinder engine with these words in my head—you have heart problems.

In February 2001, from out of the blue, I experienced dizziness, nausea, difficulty breathing and chest pain. The world turned gray, and I had an emergency stent placed in my heart.

In November 2005, I experienced a massive heart attack and had to be medically evacuated by airplane from Fairbanks to Anchorage. Six weeks later, in desperation from depression, I began drawing and painting on the computer, inspired by images that came to me. I had no previous experience making art. Over the next nine months, I completed a series of 27 paintings.

In February 2007, something in me decided to spend the next forty days reviewing the paintings and posting a daily comment about them on a blog. Each day I wrestled with how to express how the heart attack had affected me, and then finally posted an illustrative image and a short commentary.

In that intense process of thinking, painting, and writing, a profound spiritual awareness slowly emerged, transforming my perception of myself and the world around me.

This is the story of that alchemical transformation.

→ Chapter 1: Wounded