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Participant Information

Linda Wasylewski

City:
Brooklyn
State:
NY
Country:
USA
Essay:

I retired from my job about six years ago due to the progression of Parkinson's disease diagnosed in 1991.

Initially, I was concerned about ways to fill my time and continue as an active participant in life. Much to my amazement and gratification, I began to tap into my artistic creativity.

Since childhood I have been artistically gifted. I attended a high school specializing in the visual arts. Life, work and lack of time interrupted my painting and sculpting.

Shortly after retiring I attended a weekly porcelain doll-making class. I was inspired and encouraged to work on my own. Totally involved, I worked day and night and my ability to draw, paint, sculpt and craft mosaics was rekindled.

I am exploding with creativity, waking up excited everyday, looking forward to finishing or starting a new project.

When I was diagnosed with PD I was 47 years old. I thought that I would become a drooling invalid. In spite of a gross tremor in my right side, (I'm right-handed) and difficulty writing and eating, I am so determined and motivated to create that I push myself to produce, and thereby overcome, my tremor and rigidity.

I do feel frustrated at times, but I persevere. Physically I'm lifting, carrying, stretching and bending; I'm preparing and conditioning clay. Mentally I'm stimulated, excited by planning and analyzing, dreaming of recognition and success.

I believe my PD and/or my medication unleashed my creativity. Using the words of Joseph Campbell, "I have found my bliss."