The “No-Sugar Added Poetry” book contest is complete! In order to be entered, a piece of original art had to be submitted. Every time I received a submission, it made me so happy, and to see them collectively makes me that much happier. I wish I had enough books to give to everyone who entered, but I truly hope that everyone, regardless of whether or not they won, enjoyed making their art. I also hope that everyone continues to find opportunities to be creative, whether it’s making art or some other avenue for being creative. At the very least, I hope each entrant will be participating in Diabetes Art Day, which is two weeks from today!
I had this wonderful plan to make a vlog out of me drawing the names, but I didn’t quite get my act together, and I didn’t really want to wait yet another day to post, so no vlog. If I had vlogged, what you would have seen was me mixing up index cards on which I’d written the names of each entrant, and then drawing two cards from my little pile of upside-down names. The artwork of those not chosen is what follows. All I have for a consolation prize for those whose names weren’t chosen is my gratitude for playing along. It’s not much, but please know it’s heartfelt.
Congratulations to Virtue from Naturally Born Cyborg, and Sherry from Jenna’s Pet Monkey (email me your snail mail addies so I can send the books!), and a big thanks to Heather from Beyond Your Peripheral Vision, Elizabeth Arnold from Pieces of My Life, Lauren Colao (a Temple University grad like me!), and Mike Durbin from My Diabetic Heart, who all took the time and invested their hearts into making a piece of art for this. I love each and every one of these, how each one says something personal about life with diabetes, how they each evoke different feelings, and how each one is so different despite common themes.
Lastly, one person submitted a written piece, but since I specified visual art, I felt obligated to stick to the rules I made, as tempted as I was to include her name in the drawing. Thanks to Alyssa Rosenzweig for sharing her writing. Although I had said that to qualify for the drawing the entries had to be visual art, Alyssa’s submission serves as a reminder that art comes in many different forms.
I’m in a fight. Every second, I’m at the frontline. Many lives have already been taken and there will only be more. Young, old, and everything in between, all left in a terminal limbo to fight. We are innocent, unwillingly drafted to fight for a victory today that only earns us another tomorrow to fight. We try to understand the rules, they are complicated and their consequences overwhelming. The language is nearly unintelligible and we have no words to explain the little we comprehend. They say the strong will survive, but they cannot fight with us and we are too few. We are frustrated, tired, scared, alone.
The enemy, I study its every temperamental move, vigilantly monitor its progress. It is unpredictable, it does not rest. It attacks in moments quiet and loud, joyous and sorrowful. It is bold, striking when I stare it in the face and when I look away. Its resistance, indifference, and insensitivity humble me. It feeds on weaknesses, showing no mercy, no forgiveness.
I have become numb to it, surviving only on instinct. I try to be normal, to forget, but it refuses to be ignored. I do what it demands without knowing why. I reject its restrictions so that despite it, someone inside of me I do not know can live. I hide behind a callused armor of independence, confidence, and control. I give it my best, I seek peace. I offer my love, my tears, my blood, but it wants more. It wants my life. But while I live the fight has no end, for the enemy lives inside me.