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  • Writer's pictureCindy Swan-Eagan


This has been a summer of challenges around here. This little purse sort of represents that to me, but also represents something more - overcoming challenges. Perseverance. Overcoming. Moving forward.

Why? Well, let's go back to April - the summer was just beginning and full of promise and possibility.

And then, Shingles.

Yes, Shingles.

For weeks, I sat in a chair, moving as little as possible, and even then, in intense pain. Slowly, over time, it has gotten better. Notice that I didn't say it has gone away. The more I read about Shingles, I have learned that Shingles goes on for a long, long time. Even as I type this, there is a tingle in the area of my main outbreak. Fortunately, it doesn't really hurt so much as tingles at this point.

During the worst of the Shingles, I could not stand anything on my skin. I remembered this tiny red purse. I got it out, and began using it. It required some changes - my normal wallet wouldn't fit inside, so I had to get out a wallet that I had to use when I need only a tiny one; I could only carry one car key and house key on my chain, not keys to everything; I could carry my phone only if I had only my wallet and keys inside, nothing else could fit. I had to adapt and change. But, it worked, and I found I wasn't quite so dependent upon all those other things I had carried in my purse - those things I thought were so very essential.

I continued to carry it beyond when I needed it, as I had begun to like being more minimalist. And then, on the way home from an art show just over a week ago, I was involved in a multi-car accident. I won't go into the details, but I walked away from the car after the jaws of life cut an opening for me to get out. I have been stiff and sore, but am making a full recovery. I am lucky. And, once again, my little purse was necessary, as my skin was once again tender. I needed to adapt.

This little purse has come to represent so much more to me over the course of the summer. Adaption, overcoming, moving forward. I don't need as much as I thought, just opportunity and time. Friends and good conversation.

I am going back into the studio today and going to begin to "make" again. It will feel good. I have a small pop-up at a local venue tomorrow. I'm not trying to make anything to take, although if I get something finished in time, it will feel good.

Oh, and the accident - it was caused by someone who was driving too fast, we found out later that they were fleeing police at the time. That driver pushed another car into mine. It could have been much worse - like I said earlier, I feel pretty lucky. In fact through everything, I feel pretty lucky. My little red purse and I will proudly be out and about, just moving forward.

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