I live a double life. I am artist and patient advocate. I am not completely in either world.
When I gather with fellow artists, I am my selfest self, on the edge, whimsical and seeking. But also, the conversations become painfully existential, the dramas seem overdone.
When I create, I am alone. The art unravels itself and I am simply there to witness.
When I go to work, I am my best self: present, compassionate, intelligent, and thorough. But also, the conversations become hilarious and rich, life seems full and incredible.
Something about becoming a patient advocate at an abortion clinic has taken me to another place where things are stripping themselves and the earth seems on the edge of aborting everything. That every time I tell a woman it is okay, if I am dead wrong then this is hell and I am burning.
As I traverse between art compound and health center, I miss things in both. Sometimes puzzling are the things I miss among the artists. The scholarships, the rewards, the feeling that my art is enough. They will suspect I am not involved in the community though I help them with their health care one at a time while keeping it confidential because I am an Abortioneer and that’s what Abortioneers do. They keep the secrets.
They also keep abortion sacred and clean for little pay and precarious support outside the walls of the clinic.
It’s okay. I don’t suspect I need my fellow artists to create the art but I do need my co-workers—the manager, doctor, nurse practitioners, my fellow advocates, the volunteers and external support folk—to be able to serve others well.
No matter where, there is love.