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Portal for Healing • by Kelly Rae Roberts

Every once in a while I receive an email, like this following one, that takes my breath away and births a major awakening in my life:

My husband died 9 months ago. We were together for 10 years, married not even a full year. I am 27 years old and live in Wisconsin. On what would have been our first wedding anniversary my girlfriends took me to San Diego … to “get away.” I often wonder if one day, I will be able to actually get away. On my trip I saw one of your prints; I bought it, a gift to myself from my husband. My husband was a graffiti artist, and appreciated all art.

I call it my anniversary painting. I recently bought two of your original paintings! While I don’t have a lot of money, I was determined to do whatever it took to purchase your paintings. I just received the confirmation that they were sent and for a moment … I was happy.

Know, in my sad gray world, your paintings bring beauty.

Thank you for that moment of happiness,


In the very instant that I finished reading Sarah's email, I realized something hugely important (in between tears): I create art to heal the pieces of me that need nurturing, and in turn, my healing experience (the actual art) becomes a portal for someone else's healing experience. And it goes on and on like a circle of healing … from one person to the next.

It was an aha moment, and I had to share because this is what we're all doing out there in the world with our gifts and our art and our words and our beings. We are nurturing and healing ourselves with our various work/craft/being, which then goes forward out into the world to become a part of someone else's healing experience. I can't think of a better way to live … we are indeed all connected inside this deeply meaningful circle of giving and receiving. It gives me chills.

My friend Andrea ( often talks about how we each bring our own medicine to the world. I love this concept and I suppose reading Sarah's email awakened me to the perspective that my art is the medicine I'm giving to the world. It's a medicine that I can offer up only because it's healed my own broken pieces during its creation. That's what art is. Whether it's writing, crafting, or creating a life lived well by loving well, then it's art. And art saves lives. Then, like grace itself, the art you put out into the world not only saves and nurtures you while you create and live it into being, but then it becomes a medicine for the world, for someone else to receive for their own healing. I can't tell you how deeply this has rocked my world — a deep aha moment for me, for sure. Thank you, Sarah. So much.

Of course, I responded to Sarah's letter and we've exchanged a couple of emails telling one another our stories and both thanking one another for the other's medicine (she gave me permission to share her email with you). I wish her eons of comfort and love during her grief journey and I am deeply honored to have played a small part in offering her a moment of relief and happiness with my art.

So today, more than ever, I'm aware of my medicine. Your medicine. And how it creates a wide circle of healing and nourishment for one another as we go about our days, some of us in the very center of the hardest part of our journey. I am so thankful for all of it. It's the brightness in our lives that we hold close …

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It's so wonderful to read this post about healing. It reminds me that the world is beautiful place with beautiful people...even if there are down times. That kind of hope is what helps us keep looking forward to all the wonderful possibilities. Thanks for sharing your story.

Wow..this has shaken me, awakened me to the core. I've had a whisper of my own, growing louder each day. Yet I'd been ignoring it, too afraid I'd fail, too afraid the work, the art, wouldn't be 'good enough', wouldn't reach out and touch another like I'd envisioned it to do, even too afraid of the success of the project, then not being able to keep up, to handle that..but this post,Sarah's amazing courage to allow you to share her personal story, and you for the courage to express how it touched and effected you..this post like nothing other has shown me I need to listen and answer this whisper, or calling,it is my medicine for the world..thank you both from the bottom of my heart..

Beautiful...Thank you so much for this today!!

Kelly and Sarah Thank you for giving me thought today, it was beautiful to read xxx

Very powerful. Thanks for sharing all the links (I had no idea Anthro had another site; some really inspiring films, etc. there).

Absolutely and may I add that your book has really helped to keep me together. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, I bought your book to help me take my mind off things and it has been a constant and welcome companion on this rather nasty journey.

You are, indeed, an inspiration to many, and that makes you a healer. I have visited hundreds of blogs recently as I try to learn about this whole new "sphere," but I keep coming back to yours, always, as the most inspirational, the most comforting, the one that makes me feel the most like myself. (And I don't even paint). It is your message, it crosses all the boundaries of art, creativity and living and touches us all. Thank you for that.

what a lovely email to receive about your art, it makes it all worth the effort to hear something like that I'm sure.
I have experienced that circle of nourishment with my art friends too. your description of the process is perfect!

Shona Cole

i'm struck by the transformation of the artists' feeling into someone else's gift... over and over... i have a feeling as i follow the different stories of the curators here that this may be a theme for me... something i will soak up...

thanks for sharing the touching story,

I bought your book while going through a divorce after 13 years of marriage. A divorce that I did not want a husband that I did not want to lose. I have since purchased 3 of your inspirational prints as I work on making the house we once shared and worked so hard to build into MY house and my comfort zone. Thank you for reminding me what is important and that i still have gifts to offer the world.

The email is just proof of the nourishment given to others through doing and sharing it with the world.
Thanks Kelly

What a beautiful post. What a sad yet thoughtful, even hopeful, email you received, Kelly. I can see how it would have moved you to tears. I'm so glad that Sarah found healing in your artwork. And I'm so glad to have found your blog through crescendoh.

Thank you for that sweet and sorrowful story, Kelly. Your book and art continue to inspire, heal and find the best artist in all of us. And for that, we are very grateful.
-x, Valerie

I've enjoyed your posts this week...I especially love Sabrina's work and her literally takes my breath away and makes me want infuse creativity and art into everything I do. Her art is transcendent~

Art DOES Save!

Thank you, Kelly. You have such a gift for describing the process of living fully. Shine On, Sista!

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