An Authentic, Sometimes Gritty, and Always Hopeful Blog for All Who Live with Severe Physical Pain

Friday, January 25, 2013

If Souls Could Sing...

A panel among 20 in the ceiling

Last weekend, if souls could make music, mine would have filled the rooms of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; perhaps serene violin, sprinkled with ocassional bursts of happy flute. This, as I toured Dale Chihuly (pronounced, " ChihOOie") exhibit of blown glass creations.  

Chihuly’s works somehow incorporate our known world and our imagined one with colors, forms, shadows, and light that seem a glimpse of glory.  

Where nothing that hurts can reside.  

Chihuly, however, is familiar with pain. Although he’s a pragmatist, his art undoubtedly has been influenced by his physical tragedies.  The same year (1976) he broke onto the world-wide arena, at the news of two of his pieces being acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, he was blinded in one eye.  Ironically, it was glass that blinded him, when the windshield shattered, cutting his face severely.  
I thought of my electric pain when I saw this--but this is 5 feet tall

Afterwards, Chihuly persevered on somehow, with just the use of one eye.

Just three years later, though, his glass blowing years were ended for good when he messed up his shoulder in a surfing accident.  

Warren getting only a partial view of this two story piece.  What a view!

It doesn’t seem that it slowed him down much. The only direct quote I found regarding how Chihuly’s physical diversities impacted him was on Wikipedia:  “He said in an interview, ‘Once I stepped back, I liked the view’, pointing out that it allowed him to see the work from more perspectives and enabled him to anticipate problems faster.” 

That white "octopus" looking thing in front, IS the size of an octopus.
This exhibit was like a huge under-sea reef--filling about a 40 foot room.

He gave his life over to teaching others his forms and methods, which gave him freedom to focus  on design and entrepreneurship, succeeding at all three. 

Lots of lessons are here as I look forward.  How am I using my limitations?  My pain? How much do I see what I cannot do, rather than what I can do instead?  

Yes, that's a real boat!

These were gigantic clam shells.
"I'd love one in my yard, Honey!"
Could we afford about 100 grand?

(Good thoughts and photos  on this snowy January afternoon.)

Until next time,



  1. Judi-
    Oh my goodness--this man is creating such beauty, its breath-taking and he is doing all of this IN SPITE of physical limitations and Pain.

    Talk about a sobering look as to how much CAN be done, instead of my usual thoughts "Well I CAN'T do that!"

    This is one very special man-God has blessed him with such a tremendous Gift and he has HONORED God so much.

    We do get "down" from the constant drain Physical Pain puts on us-its a fact. But seeing such works of art--opened my eyes to
    see the other side of Pain. Its truly a work of Beauty!!!

    I am thrilled you had the chance to see this and also thankful you have shared his work with us.

    Maybe we can't pull HARD and perform great works--but this is an inspiration to try pulling LITTLE by LITTLE-because there is still so much of US here!!

    God bless you Judi. This hit me--exactly at a time when I needed it.

    love, martha

  2. I really like how you put this: "Maybe we can't pull HARD and perform great works--but we can pull LITTLE by LITTLE" . Yes, we can still do the little we are able to do...and leave it up to God to make it whatever He wants.

    Bless you, friend. You are never far from my thoughts.

  3. That's awesome mom, my favorite is the neon too, I hope they do more like it. Powerful stuff!

  4. I agree! Awesome stuff! Thanks for writing, David!

  5. Oh, how beautiful! I wish I could see the work in person, but cannot go out of town right now. Thank you for sharing. --Cindy

    1. It was beautiful! Keep an eye out for when/if it comes anywhere near you. SO worth the visit. I went twice and could have gone a third time!