Tag Archives: cancer

The Bucket List


I’ve took the name from the movie, ok. But it is not about it.

Swell to be billionaire or a billionaire’s buddy (like in the movie) and be able to bucketlist whatever you want. (my creativity is amazing: I create a new verb in English: to bucketlist! :))

Imagine instead you are churchmouse poor and have, theoretically, a couple of months to live (or so the doctor says)… Less funny than in the movies, isn’t it? Still, you have a couple of months or more to live, you are still autonomous, not in great pain and you’ll like to do something meaningful with what you got.

Exactly my situation.

While binge watching tv series is a possibility (just got through a phase like that, finished the 4th season of Six Feet Under – a very suitable and sometimes morbidly funny series) it’s not meaningful enough, not when your oncologist says to get ready and put your affairs (which affairs?!) in order…

Since drawing and painting, creating art, was my most meaningful activity – pleasant too – in the last 2 decades I suppose continuing doing that is a definite YES. Now the question would be how to do the most of that. Painting commercially it’s a possibility – and could leave something relatively valuable to my family – since I have no savings, no bonds and stocks (just a few credit card debts; my enormous – 30.000 $ ! – study debt – enormous no doubt for a lousy visual arts Certificate anyway)- was erased by a merciful Ministry of Education since I couldn’t have paid that anyway). But then it will lack significative originality and impact. It will be pleasant though to paint some more flowers (Luchian did it and did a wonderful job with it) or some nostalgic Transylvanian or Quebec landscapes.

I could also draw and paint a lot of self-portraits, documenting my days before my final agony… A bit too egotistical and too much looking toward his own belly button. Maybe a significative human experience? If I were famous already maybe it could even have some commercial value… But I’m not and probably never will be… It’s amazing how quickly we forgot even the indecently famous people, once they are dead and buried.

I could also let loose of myself/ let myself loose and draw and paint the most bizarre and scary nightmares of mine (don’t have many but still got some…), the most outrageous and morbid and crazy things my imagination could concoct. That would be fun. For me. Not for my children, wife and grandchildren…

Writing a book – a short one, evidently – also a thought that crossed my mind. I have one I began a few years – many years, in fact: must have been 2003-2004? and wrote about 39-40 pages… I could begin a new one, not a work of fiction but a kind of equivalent of Ibraileanu’s aphorisms, “Witnessing Life” (Privind viata). Am I wise enough? Am I skillful enough? Only one way to know it: by trying to do it…

Of course, painting, drawing, writing is to be done in my “spare time” since my mission in life, right now and in the foreseeable future, is to assist as much as I can, my daughter and my grandsons (and occasionally my other boys and my wife and father).

Not much of a bucket list, I suppose? no spectacular voyages, no extreme feats, no exotic living. And I wonder if I had money (checked today the lottery tickets – no luck for me; I’m lucky in my love life, as usual :)) I would do something different. Maybe visiting my father in Romania (with his grand-grandsons and grandsons maybe), maybe some museum visiting (Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Brussels, Munich…) Nothing very fancy.

But then, I’m neither Jack Nicholson…nor Van Gogh…

Maybe some ear cutting would be more interesting? no, no, I’ll stick with the boring stuff…

And this is some work in progress, so that the post wouldn’t be imageless. It’s bad enough it’s not fancy…

Old OLt riverbed, Transylvania, near Saca

Old OLt riverbed, Transylvania, near Saca

Premonitions in Painting: my Premonition


Still kicking…maybe the premonition was true…

Van Gogh and I

Yesterday morning, the 01 01 2014, I woke up with my face to a painting of mine on the wall close to my bed. This is the one I’m talking about:

Trieste Trieste

Until yesterday, this painting, one of my favorite (and subjectively, one of my best works until now) was not “personal”, so to speak… It did not have a personal, visceral connection with me. But yesterday, sliding from my dreams (whatever they were – usually I do not remember them…) to reality, I saw that slender, kind of skinny naked man (maybe that’s why it wasn’t personal… I wasn’t skinny until recently…) was lying there, encircled by a dark, black green shadow. I had a minor epiphany: that was me, shadowed by my cancer, menaced but still calm… All of a sudden, this painting (one that I’ve started painting years ago and then repainted in the present form in…

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Art Therapy, here I come!


Until I got the time to write my new post about Vlaminck & Van Gogh…

Van Gogh and I

It seems that doctors die, statistically, at around 57-60 years old, a lot sooner than the “coach patatoes” (statistically), so why trust them entirely and blindly when it comes to our lives? (the statistics are for the US of A)  

Well, most of us are conditioned a lifetime to do just that…

So, it was not easy for me to say NO to the surgery they in a hurry programmed me for (even if I feel quite ok and my cancer seems to be stabilized…I’ve started to paint and draw again…)

But I did, even if most of my friends said I was crazy… Well, now, artists are a bit crazy, aren’t they? (at least a little bit…) So, instead of lying “gutted like a trout” on an operation table and then for 2 months (if everything went ok and they wouldn’t forget a scalpel or some gauze in…

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Art Therapy, here I come!


It seems that doctors die, statistically, at around 57-60 years old, a lot sooner than the “coach patatoes” (statistically), so why trust them entirely and blindly when it comes to our lives? (the statistics are for the US of A)  

Well, most of us are conditioned a lifetime to do just that…

So, it was not easy for me to say NO to the surgery they in a hurry programmed me for (even if I feel quite ok and my cancer seems to be stabilized…I’ve started to paint and draw again…)

But I did, even if most of my friends said I was crazy… Well, now, artists are a bit crazy, aren’t they? (at least a little bit…) So, instead of lying “gutted like a trout” on an operation table and then for 2 months (if everything went ok and they wouldn’t forget a scalpel or some gauze in your belly…) lying in bed with a caca-bag (yes, those details got me disgusted and taken aback too…sorry for that…)

I’ve prefered to take my chances with God and to trust my body to recover with diet, meditation, prayer and exercise… And if not, at least, I’ve decided for myself and wasn’t just a sheep or cow (well, bull) hearded to the slaughter-house… Painting, drawing will help me enormously too, I know it. I have a purpose and a meaning in my life: to paint, to draw, to photograph the beauty all around us (my grandsons included, whom I hope to see going to school, at least…) for as long as I possibly can… not that bad as a purpose and meaning in life…

Here there are some of the latest paintings and drawings I’ve “committed”:

Self-portrait, the 19 th of April 2014

Self-portrait, the 19 th of April 2014

I look here a lot more severe and somber than I really feel… Refusing the surgery  – at the time I was considering the options – gave me peace of mind and I’m now a lot more serene…

Madona With Owl

Madona With Owl

To paint this I’ve used one of the photos I’ve took at a Medieval Festival, when I was still in Sibiu, Transylvania, in the summer of 2013…

Model and artist

Model and artist

I even started to draw nudes again… here it is another one…

marie-claude

marie-claude

A Stalin's fan with Big, Big Ear...

A Stalin’s fan with Big, Big Ear…

Sometimes, when I still have color on my palette, in order not to waste it (since I’m still poor as a church mouse…) I do indulge myself in fantesies like this one… The ones who lived or heard about Stalin and communism (I did), know why the guy has such a large ear…

Finally, here I am with my grandsons Gabriel and Thomas and my daughter at about the time when I was about 90 % sure and decided NOT to take the surgery, taking instead my fate in my own hands… If they are not very skilled with a scalpel (don’t trust me to remove your appendix!) they still can hold a brush and a pencil and do some, supposedly, not that bad paintings and drawings…

my daughter, grandsons and me, the 25th of April

my daughter, grandsons and me, the 25th of April

So, beware Art Therapy, here I come!

P.S. If I do not kick the bucket right away or even, it’s possible if not probable, get  cured, it will be a reason to hope for all those who have (or will get; it seems it’s about one in three, right now…) “cancer”…and this WORD (for it’s JUST a word) will not scare the living shit out of people, who will croak just as the Australian Aborigenis do, when being “pointed the bone”…I’ve read about this in the book “You Can Conquer Cancer” by Ian Gawler, a real “Crocodile Dundee” of the fight with cancer, who survived for more than 30 years and is still kicking (well, at least with one leg; the doctors amputated the other one at the beginning of his cancer…bad joke, pardon me, Ian…)

 

 

Premonitions in Painting: my Premonition


Yesterday morning, the 01 01 2014, I woke up with my face to a painting of mine on the wall close to my bed. This is the one I’m talking about:

Trieste

Trieste

Until yesterday, this painting, one of my favorite (and subjectively, one of my best works until now) was not “personal”, so to speak… It did not have a personal, visceral connection with me. But yesterday, sliding from my dreams (whatever they were – usually I do not remember them…) to reality, I saw that slender, kind of skinny naked man (maybe that’s why it wasn’t personal… I wasn’t skinny until recently…) was lying there, encircled by a dark, black green shadow. I had a minor epiphany: that was me, shadowed by my cancer, menaced but still calm… All of a sudden, this painting (one that I’ve started painting years ago and then repainted in the present form in 2009, I think) become very, very personal. A premonition.

A bit like the famous Self Portrait with an eye pulled off, by my compatriot Victor Brauner, one of the most famous PREMONITION paintings int the history of art.

Self-Portret with one Eye

Self-Portret with one Eye

Seven years after he painted this self-portrait, playing a bit with Fate, Brauner lost an eye in a bar fight (he was only a by-stander)… He become famous not only in the Surrealist circles (which he was an important member) but also in larger even if occult circles… By the way, his father was a spiritist or something like that…A Facebook friend, Adrian Onicescu, tells me Brauner’s story was told by Ernesto Sabato in Abbadon, the Exterminator (thanks!)

An this is not the only puzzling premonition in painting we know… There are stories like that in literature, too. I remember a gruesome story (by Pierre McOrlan, if not mistaken…) about a German painter who didn’t want to paint anymore because in each new landscape he painted some horrible crime had taken place… That will be an interesting subject, premonition stories and paintings…

Anyway… Back to my own little premonition: identifying myself, as a cancer bearer, surrounded by the menacing shadow of death, lying there in the sun (I hope in the sun; the original photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson, called “Trieste”, if I’m not mistaken, was taken in the 30 ties in that supposedly nice and warm place in between Slovenia and Italy, near the Adriatic) I also almost immediately looked at the yellow-green tree. Here is the original photo:

Trieste, 1933 by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Trieste, 1933 by Henri Cartier-Bresson

There is hope for me, I told myself. That green-yellow tree is a revival symbol, a Spring symbol, a renaissance sign. In all of that shadow and bleakness surrounding “myself” (?), among the saturated orange and yellow-ocher orange and the dark shadows (didn’t get yet what symbol was the tower… a phalic one?  and the fence? )

Of course, it could be only wishful thinking… Somehow, I feel I will survive (at least a few more years) to the cancer challenge. I did not finished my business here, on Earth. I still have a family to care of. Grandsons to see growing. Drawings and paintings to be created… Not done yet, I think. I hope.

We are what we think. We are what we hope. We are what we fear. And God is giving us whatever we think, we hope, we fear. “He” is impartial and neuter, like a mirror of ourselves.

And, as I created a motto, a “slogan” for myself a few years ago, to get me through times of great depression and poverty  – and some hope, too – (inspired by Nikos Kazanzakis’ famous cretan epithaph) I think this has become now even more important and significant, meaningful for me (I was also thinking of Viktor E. Frankl‘s superb book : Man’s Search For Meaning). Here it is:

No regrets. No expectations. No fears. Be free!

——————-

Copyright 2014, Dan Iordache/Ion Vincent Danu

There Is a Time For Everything – Update


Well, I have to back up a little and recognize I was wrong: Mecenas still exists.

Sometimes, they have name of flowers (Lilly, Florin) sometimes of emperors (Traian, Valentin, Adrian) or simply poetic names like my own (Dan)  or Mariana or Sandra or Rafi… And I hope I did not forgot anybody… If I did, blame the bloody illness (even if my artist “head in the clouds” could be the real problem…)

Anyway, I just came, a few hours ago, from my second chemotherapy (it didn’t went as bad as I thought – So far, so good…) and after the holidays, in January, I will have my chance to see dr. Vanounou at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. If he sees me fit to be operate then I will probably have the HIPEC procedure and a fair chance to be healed or at least to get some more time… My state is far too advanced for me to despise the “marvels” of Modern Medicine… If not I will have to try exclusively Alternative, Natural Medicine… But you cannot cut a gangrened leg with a banana, unfortunately…

Otherwise, good news, because of the Mecenas (some more giving, even buying me some originals, some just sending me money by Paypal or ordering some reproductions , but both equally generous, proportionally to their meanings…) I have now my Santevia Alkaline Water Filtration System, my Kempo Hippocrates slow juicer – really slow that one, but good… and even a chlorine filter for my shower (my wife used it too; I would like my children and grandsons use it but that’s not, unfortunately, practical…)

But, hey! says Danu the Cynic, even they still exists (and God bless them!) they are not that numerous and there is still place for some more… I have now my gizmos and devices (my Alternate way of fighting cancer, with the vegetarian diet and prayer) but now, that I bought those, I am still broke and got not much left, if any, to buy vegetables and fruits and so on. True, I bought a lottery ticket today and, eventually, the Welfare will come through at the end of the month…

That’s Danu, the never satisfied, the ungrateful bastard that thinks world (or other people) owe him soething just for being such a “splendid” artist…They don’t…

But if you are feeling invadad by the Christmas spirit and willing to do some charity, my Paypal email is diordache01@gmail.com and/or you can order some “masterpieces” reproductions from my Fine Art America site or Redbubble… That’s also, Danu the Cynic, Danu the opportunist, Danu the Begger… More things could happen now (Danu the Cynic again…):

1. Nothing moves, nothing changes…

2. Some new Mecenas will generously manifest themselves… (YES!)

3. Last, but not least, some effing spamer will take my email and use it to flood me with rich African kings offers (they need only a couple thousand $ to inherit – and are ready to make me part of it, to making me ultra-rich); or some “beautiful” ladies which fancy me as their future lover and wish to make me orgasmiclly happy (by phone, I suppose) if I send them a couple of hundred $ and so on… and lets hope Paypal security is really really tight (I think so; never had a problem yet) so that hackers cannot also syphon my meager account by only knowing your email…

Whatever…

To all the possibilities (and I really mean ALL, not only $ and emails and Mecenas…) I will say: Thy Will Be Done. (I will do my part, though…)

Be it Fate/Nature/God.

I discovered some more unknown or hardly remembered things I’ve done : here they are so that I do now spoil my “Grand finale” with some more words…

Marine Gems 2006 ?

Marine Gems 2006 ?

Some of MArs Imagined Population VGI

You can see what the HIPEC procedure is, here:

http://www.hipectreatment.com/about-the-hipec-procedure/

P.S.  Almost started to draw and make watercolors again… one of the Mecenas gave me a order for a horse painting… My half of the kitchen table is ready: paper, photos, watercolors… All stay there like soldiers on a battlefield. Waiting for the General to gain some forces and really DO it… He will, he will…

There is a Time for Everything


…Ecclesiastes dixit. A time for living and a time for dying. A time for health and a time for sickness.

For me, it seems, it’s the time for sickness. I’ve got diagnosed with a rare (they say only about 6000 Americans got it in a year which is 0,00189 %) form of cancer, quite advanced since I was told initially I have indigestion and treated myself for a month for that…I have a knack for rare sicknesses since my only other time when I was life treathening ill was when I got, in Romania, botulism…(no wrinkles cured, by the way, just gotten sick, sick sick…but I was still young and got away with it…)

In 2006 I draw this “masterpiece” (ha,ha) in which the “artist” paints a pregnant model. I was kind of puzzled when I found it in my portfolio (I didn’t even remembered to have it painted…).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Anyway, I will fight back with my will to live (I’m only 57, almost 58, which, they tell me, it’s quite “young” for Canada and US) and the help of my family, grandsons included. Not much else to fight back with. I lost about everything in 10 months in Romania: my economies, my credit, my car… I’m sorry I had to leave my 85 years old father alone back there in Romania. But what use would he have had from a very sick and unassured son?

I still hope to have some little time to paint some more.

And I play every week – well, I will when the welfare check will come through…- the lottery, hoping to win at least the price of a slow juicer from Jalinis to give me a supplementary fighting chance with fruit and vegetable juices…Since Mecenas seems to be an extinct species…

Maybe, at least now and then, I will even write a post here.  Maybe even interesting posts since the ones close to kicking the bucket have nothing to loose and they, usually, tell the truth, even the unpleasant and embarrassing truth…

Thank you to all my friends who red or comment on my blog. I made some very good friends here and it was interesting. Hope to be able to write them personally in a while, since my maximum energy is about a blog post long…

Gabriel, Thomas, me and nero, our new

Gabriel, Thomas, me and nero, our new tomcat

Bye for now.