Iona, Scotland. Photo taken by Morag Noffke

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Change of name from "Artist’s Guild" to "Journal Extracts"

My intentions have changed in that this blog had originally included other artist-friends of mine. It didn’t really take off and since my brush with cancer I was not posting I had time to reflect upon what I really wanted to say through this blog. I feel that the name “Artist’s Guild” is incongruent with my intentions. And so I have changed the name to “Journal Extracts”.

Journal Extracts will be a blog that shares select extracts from my visual art and written journals. I write poetry, short stories, plays and contemplative self-reflective material and I express myself in many different art-forms. I plan to keep the same feel about the posts as I create a selection that illustrates the internal processes and the expression that emerges through the life long journey that I have taken. The content might not follow a chronological order but hopefully as I change you will all see how journaling tracks personal growth and change.

I encourage you to journal too, in any form or manner.

A warm smile,
Morag Noffke

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I am back to share my creative space...

I’m back…
After two years of juggling personal life issues, going through three operations and trying to retain my energy for getting well,  I finally feel ready to find new direction. I plan to share with you my thoughts, poems and art again. I have found that to live my best life it must be filled with energy. In order to have this I have created, what I call: open spaces and quiet time. 

For now I am sure you are wondering what has happened in the last two years… and yes, it could happen to you too.

Some of you will know that two years ago I discovered I had breast cancer and had a double mastectomy. You know how you can feel completely prepared for the future, knowing that you have no history of cancer and everything pointing to heart disease is taken care of with medication. Well I was in for a rude shock. The doctor was not sure what she was looking at so after five biopsies and waiting the whole weekend for an answer, I finally heard the news.   

What do you do while you are waiting you might ask. My advice is, firstly, get insurance cover even if you have a medical aid or hospital plan as soon as you can, before it is too late, before you discover you are ill; secondly while you are waiting, don’t go scaring yourself by surfing the internet but do educate yourself about the terminology which is used, where you will get the best care, what the different options you might have for helping your recovery; thirdly, try to be as open as you can to communicating to your close family and friends; and fourthly, surround yourself with people (family, friends and medical practitioners) whom you can trust to support you when you need it most.

Don’t panic!! You will find that everybody has their personal story which takes them on a journey and so will you. You might feel bewildered by the news and all the jargon, you might feel a sense of shame or failure or regret. But you did nothing wrong; what is important is to dig deep into your deepest recesses for courage, strength, faith and gratitude for what you still have. It is an opportunity to take stock of what you have, what you have done and what you can still give to others. To change, means one thing comes to an end while another thing begins.   
I was 'lucky'. My tumor was caught early. And so now after regaining my strength I plan to begin a new ‘chapter’ in my life which includes this creative space.

Keep watching.
A warm smile,