Balancing Whimsy and Invisible Forces

By Stacie Prada

Art that resonates with me changes depending on where I am in my life, how I’m feeling, and what I’m facing. Some things I loved at certain points in my life I love because they spoke to me at that time. I think if I were to first see some of them today, I would not connect in the same way as I did back then. I have some pieces that spoke to me during dark times that I chose to let go when times changed and they no longer brought me solace.  Others have endured through life changes and still resonate.

One piece that spoke to me nearly ten years ago and does still is a balancing metal sculpture I purchased in a small gallery on an outing with friends. It was an impromptu purchase during an extremely challenging year that completely overhauled my career, relationship and living arrangement. Simple and elegant, it spins, leans and wobbles while always coming to rest in perfect balance.

First struck by the elegant whimsy of the figure whirling and balancing on a wheel on a narrow single point, it symbolized how I felt about my own experience. Balancing my health with dreams for a better future, I felt like the figure navigating invisible forces that required constant attention while maintaining control.

My multiple sclerosis symptoms continue to be mostly invisible to others. Fatigue, numbness, spasms and pain accompany and factor into all I do. When knocked physically or emotionally, I try to find my center, flow with the momentum and aim for the next goal. Movements and mood slide along a continuum of unstable and vulnerable to daring and resilient. The fluidity of disparate experiences and apparent grace is encouraging not for deceptive intent but for the possibilities and hopefulness they inspire.

PS – The piece is unfortunately unsigned, and I’ve been unsuccessful finding the artist. If anyone knows the artist and can provide me their name or connect me with them, I’ve be very grateful to assign credit to them.

Stacie Prada was diagnosed with RRMS in 2008 just shy of 38 years old.  Her blog, “Keep Doing What You’re Doing” is a compilation of inspiration, exploration, and practical tips for living with multiple sclerosis while living a full, productive, and healthy life with a positive perspective. It includes musings on things that help her adapt, cope and delight in this adventure on earth. Please visit her at http://stacieprada.blogspot.com/ 

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The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; MS Conversations blog; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

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