Pre-surgery sketch & fun facts

Blind contour drawing of a thryoid, January, 2013

I am a week away from having at least half of my thyroid
removed. Possibly the entire thing, depending what is
found in the somewhat large tumor.

Thyroids are odd glands. Some 'fun' thyroid facts:
  • The word thyroid is derived from the Greek word for shield, thureos. The Greeks and Romans originally used the word thureos for oblong-shaped doors. Since their shields were shaped like these doors, shields were also called thureos.
  • I did not read anything about actual doors being used as shields, but I have a story imagined about cartoon-y Greeks protecting themselves by tearing off their back doors and rushing toward bewildered intruders. 
  • The thyroid is composed of two oblong tear-drop forms connected by an isthmus, which all curve around the throat, just under the larynx. The form of the thyroid is usually referred to as 'amorphous', since it is difficult to describe and a little differently shaped for everyone. FYI, I like the word amorphous, except in the case of biopsy results.
  • Like many glands, the thyroid is controlled remotely. The hormones released by the thyroid are controlled by the pituitary gland, and the pituitary gland is controlled by the hypothamulus. Seems inefficient.


Hearing Your Own Pulse

Last night I spent a lot of time on http://www.racart.org/ ,
Rural America Contemporary Art online magazine,
gallery and blog. I have been following RACA since its
beginning. It was born in Mankato, Minnesota just last
fall and has gained great ground in a short time with the
simple tagline "making nowhere into somewhere" and
highlighting quality art and writing rooted in rural
America. This is all so encouraging to me and many
other artists that live and work in rural settings. With
online connections at our fingertips and fields and
woods in our front and backyards, has there ever been
 a better time to be rural?
RACA inspired me to write this bio:
I am a rural artist. I grew up on a sheep farm in North-
Central Minnesota, left rural life for ten years and
returned fifteen years ago when my suburban boyfriend
(now husband) proposed and then shocked me by
wanting to live in the middle of nowhere Minnesota,
yet in the center of everything I truly need.

I teach art to brilliant middle and high schoolers in a

small school, about 40 students per grade level. I am
a mom to two creative young girls, and that suburban
boy has transformed into quite a renaissance man. I
make art in the back of my classroom, in our century-
old farmhouse kitchen, outside in the summer, and
sometimes in the winter, when suffering from light
deprivation, I drag my work into the woods, suspend it
from trees and document how the elements deteriorate
it, as I slowly come back to life.
What many urban and suburbanites might not
understand is that despite my complaints of Target
being over 50 miles away or my embarrassment over
our perpetually dirt-road-crusted car, we really did
choose this rural life. We are not stuck here, peering
into the glass ball and wishing to be hip urban artists,
although we love to visit our urban friends. We choose
this life of being less particular about some things,
and more patient about others.

Having once belonged to an artists' cooperative in
Chelsea, Manhattan and flying to New York a couple
times a year, I had my ear on the pulse of the art world.
It was a great experience, but when I stepped away
from that artist cooperative six years ago, I began to
more clearly hear my own pulse and voice. Perhaps it
comes with age no matter where you are, but truly
listening to my own pulse means that I am no longer 
drowning it out with the static of constantly seeking far-
away muses. I know what I am missing out on, and it
can wait so that I don’t have to miss out on nearby
subtleties--the everyday, heart-twinging beauty that
quietly begs to be heard.