Monday, January 23, 2012

the sparrow becomes a phoenix

Well hello! Yes, it's me- coming to you from the comfort of my recliner, while Joanna Lumley marvels at the shores of the nile. I thought it time that I wrote, since it's been far too long since i've blogged and as many of you know, significant things have happened. things that have - at the risk of sounding cliche - changed my life.

it's hard to know how to write this- i mean it's not a casual thing. So i'll just write it as if none of you know what's going on. On November 30, at approximately 11:17am, I was involved in a two car collision, on a winding country road in the mountains that lay between my town and the city. I was with my mother in her tin-foil tough Korean hatchback, driving cautiously uphill; Mum's always a little nervous on winding roads for good reason- large farm vehicles have a habit of racing along in the middle of the road and because of the s-bends, you don't see them till they're right on top of you. And that's exactly what happened. Mum had enough time to swerve slightly, but it wasn't enough- the last thing i remember before the blackness was the front end of a large white SUV coming right toward our windscreen.

I remember every detail of the accident from the moment of impact- I'd tell you about it, but I've lived through it enough times in my own head. The detail is tedious- 7 broken ribs, punctured lung, traumatised sternum, dislocated clavicle, shoulder nerve damage....ICU (twice), emergency surgery, induced comas, blah blah blah. 3 weeks of bland meals, white sheets, pills, needles- a lot of needles. A LOT. And my veins don't give it up easy either. 3 weeks of having to sleep half sitting up and on my back, which I cannot do, so it's probably more accurate to say '3 weeks of sleeping only when i passed out from exhaustion'.

I'm light about it now of course, but that was a pretty rough month. There were days when I was in more pain than the day of the accident, there were days when I pleaded with the nurses not to make me lay down again (anyone who's ever had a lung full of fluid or a broken chest will know what I'm talking about) - some of the painkillers they had me on were so strong I hallucinated for days on end. I sweated, cried, coughed and vomited my way through that month- I even had a tantrum- yeah, i figured I was a girl and I'd had a hard time, I was allowed to kick the table.

But here I am, out of the woods. I'm not exactly healed yet- but I get a little better every week. I made my own dinner tonight for the first time since the accident. I look 'fine' to the eye, but bones are still healing and I have the energy and stamina of a spritely 90 year old. I have a brilliant seat belt scar that has ruined my cleavage (I pray it'll fade by the end of the year) but since I can't wear a bra right now anyway that doesn't really matter. I hate not wearing a bra. And every time I complain about something trivial like that there's a little voice in my head that tells me it could be so much worse. And it could be.

Anyway- blah blah, next subject. And that is thankfulness. All the sympathy, support, emails, donations, secret auctions, prayers, thoughts and best wishes that people sent my way were so completely and utterly soaked up. I'll never be able to express the gratitude for all of that, thank you. It means so much to me that there are all these people all over the world rooting for me to get better. It's working!

So let's put this behind us and move on. I've got big plans for this year, bigger than ever, plans that will roll out as soon as I can manage. The Chinese might call it the year of the dragon, but around these parts, it's the year of the sparrow.


Alice said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh sweet sparrow, you don't know how good it is to see you here. Words can not express how sorry I am about all you've gone through.Take your time at getting up to speed in your art and your life. You deserve a rest from all the trauma.

DWhiteCreations said... Best Blogger Tips

guess i'm one of you secret admirers, sooo glad to see you post again but so sorry to hear about what you have been through. been pulling for you. year of the sparrow indeed :) such a great spirit!

Vintage Jane said... Best Blogger Tips

Whew, I didn't think I had seen a blog from you for a while ... now I know why! What a traumatic time, but at least you are still here in the land of the living and on the mend. M x

Just Jen said... Best Blogger Tips

Holy Hell! I had no idea. Having gone through something similar albeit not quite so crushing I can fully appreciate that the brain monkeys can be almost as bad as the physical ramifications. Stay strong Little Sparrow. Phoenix rising indeed! xo

Ivy Long, Edera Jewelry said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh, Penny, I am so sorry to hear this, but relieved you are okay! Sending healing thoughts your way. xo

Gardanne said... Best Blogger Tips

You are an inspiration, sweet sparrow. You will heal the body is remarkable that way, and with your positive attitude and spirit you are well on your way.
Keep soaking up all that support because it is still coming your way.

Ellen said... Best Blogger Tips

What a horrible experience, but so glad...even though I don't "know" you, that you are on the Dad had a similar, long ago but didn't come through.
Sending you prayers and lots of encouragement for your lovely work and a positive, best 2012.

Lesley said... Best Blogger Tips

Welcome back Sparrow - may you go from strength to strength quickly and completely. Your positivity is inspiring.

Kathleen Lange Klik said... Best Blogger Tips

You have been missed! I am so sorry about what you went through. So glad that you are feeling better and looking forward to getting back into the creative swing of things. Creativity heals the soul!

TesoriTrovati said... Best Blogger Tips

I am so glad to hear that you are on the mend, dear Sparrow. You will continue to heal and you will thrive. I am sure that the knowledge that there are people who have never met you halfway around the world praying for your stength and grace to push through this will bring you encouragement. Much love to you from an admirer on the other side of the planet. Keep on keeping on, Miss Sparrow!
Enjoy the day.

mairedodd said... Best Blogger Tips

dear penny, it is such a relief to hear you own voice on the blog... i thought of you daily and wondered how you were faring...
please accept my heartfelt compassion at your trials - i celebrate the year of the sparrow alongside of you...

stregata said... Best Blogger Tips

I think of you every time I look outside and see the sparrows at my bird feeder. It is so good to hear you here again, sparrow on the rise. This accident has changed your life in a way that cannot be reversed - I wish you healing for your body, your heart and your soul.

Vintajia Adornments said... Best Blogger Tips

My heart lifted when I saw your post this morning, so good to hear from you. Have thought of you often and sent a silent message over the weeks.
May 2012 be your year!

artistic rejuvenations said... Best Blogger Tips

well wishes to you my dear.

Jackie said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh Penny, I'm so, so glad to see you here today. I've really missed you, I've prayed for your healing of body and soul. I'm sorry you had to go through so much, dear Sparrow. Year of the Sparrow, I like that! Be well and be strong, we all are sending love, hugs and our best wishes your way.
...Jackie xo

crankypants said... Best Blogger Tips

My friend says sparrows are the first birds out after a rainstorm, and for that reason, she admires their tenacity, bravery and cheer.

In light of what you've gone through recently, I think we can say the same of you.

Best wishes for continued healing!

Lolo said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh my god. That's horrible! I hope you and your mom both get back to full health as soon as possible!

Try some vitamin e oil for any scars. It works wonders.

queenofcuffs said... Best Blogger Tips

Penny - I often checked your blog and kept seeing
"sweet little boulders" -but I can't believe what you have been through.
What terrible luck - wrong place - wrong time - you must often feel mad as hell that it happened to you.
I was so sorry to read your words - so strong and steadily told - but so glad you are working through it back to yourself.
I wish you strength to improve in health and also strength to eventually push the bad memories far back into the past.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Shine on Ms. Sparrow~
Blessings to you!

fancylinda said... Best Blogger Tips

It's so nice to see you back here! I send you my best wishes for continued recovery and healing. I am looking forward to seeing what you have planned for the Year of the Sparrow!

Sidereal Day said... Best Blogger Tips

It's so good to hear that you are on the mend. You have been in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be.

Corvid Delights said... Best Blogger Tips

"Somewhere out in the darkness, a phoenix was singing in a way Harry had never heard before;... Harry felt, as he had felt about the Phoenix song before, that the music was inside him, not without ... How long they stood there, listening, he did not know, nor why it seemed to ease their pain a little to listen..." J.K. Rowling

I am so glad that you are on the mend and yes dear love you will rise again.. sparrow to phoenix.. the phoenix together with the dragon is an auspicious symbol to the Chinese people. Sending you much love.

Jenni said... Best Blogger Tips

Welcome back, Penny. So good to see your words and hear you are well on the way to recovery....I was thrilled to see your post on my blog roll. The year of the sparrow...indeed.
Keep doing well, hugs.

Lisa Cone - Inspired Adornments said... Best Blogger Tips

I always feel somewhat like a stalker reading blogs, missing a blogger, reading about tragedies, sending good vibes for someone I've never met, but this "stalker" is glad to see you posting again. Welcome back!

Diana said... Best Blogger Tips

Welcome back! So good to see your words again!

Janet said... Best Blogger Tips

Wonderful to know that you're feeling better! Hope each day is better than the one before. :)

martinisfor2 said... Best Blogger Tips

welcome home sparrow, it's sweet to see you back. i'd check your blog every day hoping...just hoping. rest up and soon you will be soaring again...we missed you, we hoped the best...we prayed a have many loving friends here and on etsy. like i said before in day at a time, one step at a time. we, your forever fans will always be here for you.

xoxo, LuAnn

Annette F Tait said... Best Blogger Tips

sending love and strength and fresh Scottish air from Edinburgh to help on your path to health and well being :)
and it is a never ending supply - when you want some, just ask, and you will receive :)
Annette xxx

Beatnheart said... Best Blogger Tips

Wishing you contiuous healing and strength during this most incredibly difficult time

Jo Archer said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh Pen, so glad you are healing. I been thinking of you ever since this happened. I was so upset. Next time you come to England again (and you will get there!), we are going to raise a glass to your mum, get drunk and rattle round some more dingy, victorian streets.

Take care my friend. x

Skye said... Best Blogger Tips

*hugs* So good to hear from you again! I kept checking in to see if you were up and around yet and had my fingers crossed the whole while.

I hope your fingers get itching to play with beads and things soon ;) I'll be waiting to see where your creativity takes you :) said... Best Blogger Tips

O'h my god, poor poor you, i will send you lots and lots of bright white healing, big kiss Stephne xxx

fanciful devices said... Best Blogger Tips

aw, my bestie is blogging! squeeeee!!!
dude. you sure managed to put a brave face on in any convos to me! im seriously such a tackless doof.... and i only knew this was up from a comment on my blog post. wtf....

ensourdine said... Best Blogger Tips

Dear Sparrow - there's so much courage and strength in you that we all admire, but you've demonstrated even more will power and wisdom throughout the course of this particularly difficult time that I'd like to pay my utmost respect to you - though through this insignificant gesture of some meaningless words and sentiment. I wish you a new start in which the dragon brings you wonderful prospect and the best luck! We are all watching you rise and are praying for you and your family.

layers of memory said... Best Blogger Tips
This comment has been removed by the author.
layers of memory said... Best Blogger Tips

I only just found your blog recently and was sorry to read of your pain and the loss of your mother....i hope these words bring you some comfort......

When someone dies a cloud turns into an angel and flies up to tell God to put another flower on a pillow.
A bird gives the message back to the world and sings a silent prayer that makes the rain cry.
People disappear but they never really go away. The spirits up there put the sun to bed, wake up the grass and spin the earth in dizzy circles.
Sometimes you can see them dancing in a cloud during the daytime when they are supposed to be sleeping.
They paint the rainbows and also the sunsets and make waves splash and tug at the tide.
They toss shooting stars and listen to wishes, and when they sing wind songs they whisper to us, don't miss me too much the view is nice and i am doing just fine.......

Emma said... Best Blogger Tips

Dear Sparrow - Only just found your post on my weekly check of your blog. I just want to wish you well, from another quiet admirer - this time from England. I know we are strangers but your blog gives us a strong sense of who you are - your honesty, creativity, irreverence and humanity. Really hope the journey back to wellness isn't too challenging and look forward to your future posts.

Shannon Chomanczuk said... Best Blogger Tips

I have kept you in my prayers since I heard of the accident back on the 1st of December.
I have been a silent reader of your blog and have been checking in from time to time to see how you were doing. Today I see this post. Yay!
I am so sorry for what you have been through. I am glad that you could get some of it out.
I will keep you in my thought as your bones and spirit begin to heal.
Shannon C

Petra Carpreau said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh, sweet and precious Sparrow. Like Stregata, I think of you all the time, watching the tweeters outside my window. It made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck reading your account of that terrible accident.
It's wonderful to read your words here again, and to know that you're steadily healing. It'll take time to get your stamina back, but you will.
The Year of the Sparrow - wonderful!! Bigger than ever, eh - are these the plans for the wall sized jewellery extravaganzas?OH YES, YES, YES!!!!! Spread those wings wide and soar!!!!

owlparty said... Best Blogger Tips

Welcome back! You've been missed!

Gillian said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh god, I'm so sorry to hear about all you have been through! I'd really missed your blog and your presence but had no idea the reasons behind your absence were so catastrophic.

You have such a positive outlook on this and that is incredibly admirable, but it is good to hear you have made time to have some tantrums too.

You are in my thoughts as you are healing and mending...

Tribalis said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, I don't know you very much, I am new between the community of artists that Fanci has around her and I am enjoying know them.I know that you are one of her friends.
I want just to say that I feel sorry for your mom, for the suffering that the accident brought to you and feel happy that you are having the possibility of re-birth. I am sure that this experience is offering to you a very unique spiritual moment and the possibility of growth and to be thankful, that is one of the most signal of maturity and spiritual growth.
All the best to you.
May the Life and God embrace you in theirs warm and generous arms.

Spirited Earth said... Best Blogger Tips

Penny, I'm so relieved to see you are able to start blogging again,but so so very sorry for all that you've had to endure..
I've thought of you often,many hugs and healing thoughts to you.

Gallery 13 - Lela Bouse-McCracken said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Penny,
After hearing of your bad luck through fanci's blog, it's so good to see you posting.

I'm love, love your work (which I originally found on flickr) and I can tell by this post that rising and being Queen Phoenix is a sure thing for your future!

Stay strong and best wishes for speedy healing.


Ulrike said... Best Blogger Tips

Year of the Sparrow - go for it

Jenny said... Best Blogger Tips

Like so many have said - you have been hearty missed, and the thoughts and prayers of "bead babes" have been with you during this transformative time. Thank you for sharing the barest details of the ordeal, that cannot have been easy. I am glad to "hear" your voice again...

Kay said... Best Blogger Tips

spread your wings sparrow and fly!!!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

The sparrows inner phoenix has emerged!!!! Go girl!!! Kick some butt, oh, I mean tables ;') You got to laugh. I love the tantrum part!... lisa

Barb Fernald said... Best Blogger Tips

Nice to see you back. I can't imagine how hard this all has been. My condolences on your mother. What a double whammy.
You sound good and positive. Strength for the times when you are not. (not positive or strong.)
I love your work and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Birgitta Lejonklou said... Best Blogger Tips

Lets go for that!
The Year of the Sparrow !!
and I am so happy You got out of that part with days in hospital You never want back again.....I can feel that deep in my heart and bones (some of my own experience)
Welcome back to the blogging and creating. We need You here You are such an "inspirator" for many of us
xxxxxx Birgitta

Lori Anderson said... Best Blogger Tips

I am so thankful and grateful to be reading this. I struggle for the right words to let you know I want to hug you (very gently) -- maybe you can just tell that I care. I hope so!

Take care, and don't do anything you don't want to do.

Poppy Q said... Best Blogger Tips

Hoping that this year is much better for you, and that your recovery is swift.

Being in hospital is rough, and broken ribs and chest drains suck. I'm an x-ray tech, so I see lots of it every day. Nothing like being in your own bed, and leave the plastic mattresses and pillows behind.

Rest up.

Julie Q

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips


Chrisy said... Best Blogger Tips

Dear Little Sparrow, I was filled with sadness reading elsewhere about what you've been is so hard sometimes...take care you precious girl...and yay for the Year of the Sparrow...may you fly high and effortlessly!

Cece said... Best Blogger Tips

Dear Sparrow,
Thank you for sharing with us that you are mending in your own nest. It is hard work, but I'm certain that you will once again soar on great wings.

Luthien said... Best Blogger Tips

hello Penny,
i came here via MaireDodd. i am so sorry to hear of your recent tragedy but am happy that you are healing and thinking so positively!! i love your work and your attitude towards life. be well ...

Maggie Zee said... Best Blogger Tips

I had just begun to follow your Etsy shop and followed your blog to find out how you are doing. My heart goes out to you on the loss of your mother and on all you have had to endure. May you be healed in body, mind and spirit. May you use your phoenix wings to follow your dreams.

Louise said... Best Blogger Tips

You are an incredibly strong being Sparrow, hands down to you. I think the hardest part must be the asking of why, if you must ask. But clearly you don't dwell, rather, move on with your life and do the best you can. And you are. Just look at that. So wonderful to have you back. Your work is beautiful and maybe you need to re-connect with your bliss, but you have found it. So follow it now, and never let go of that light. Even if it feels like its just a flicker, it's always burning! My sister told me that once. The light is your heart. xox

Kris Peters said... Best Blogger Tips

I am so glad to hear that you are going to be stronger than ever. What a terrible experience and struggle. My best thoughts come your way.

Air Bohemia said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh girl, my 80 year old mum just had the same experience, a man in a pickup trying to beat a red light, flew into her lane just as she was pulling out. Totaled her new Prius, broken ribs, cracked vertebre, brain bloodclots and the ambulance drivers didn't put her in a neck brace or on a stretcher, made her walk to the ambulance. She is still suffering with horrible back girls are lucky to be alive!!!

Be well and heal fast and best wishes sister sparrow!

Lorelei Eurto said... Best Blogger Tips

I am soo soo happy to hear you are back at home and almost back on your feet. We have all missed you, and I was so sad to hear of the accident and your Mom. My prayers are with you always. Cheers to a quick recovery and I am excited to see what the year of the sparrow brings you! xo

Lucky Dip Lisa said... Best Blogger Tips

The year of the sparrow...count me in. I am glad you posted this, I am new here and knew none of it. I came here because I love your blog name. I am excited to get to know you. I loved your previous posts showing the evolution of your style. I play tug-o-war with depression. Sometimes I win, sometimes it does. After recently overcoming a long period in the dark I've found a new style of work has emerged with it. There's light at the end of the tunnel and yes, it could be so much worse. :)