I met @PraticalWisdom on twitter in the fall of 2010. Back then twitter the feed listed the @ name clearly but not the person’s real name. I have always been known on Twitter under the rather unimaginative name of @ReginaHolliday, but Lisa Fields chose @PracticalWisdom. So for over a year, I pictured @PracticalWisdom as a rather down-to-earth oracle rather than a person. She would appear in various discussions and threads always connecting folks and offering advice on a multitude of subjects.
In the fall of 2011, Lisa had dinner with another Walking Gallery Member Colin Hung. He told her all about his Gallery experience. Then I asked Lisa to email me and consider joining the gallery herself. Soon after she joined SpeakerLink.org and expressed to me her interest in speaking as well as helping other patient speakers perfect their power-point presentations.
In the spring of 2012, Lisa sent me her jacket and I painted, “Sacred Media.”
This painting is framed as stained glass window embedded into a stone wall. The theme in this piece is the color blue. If you look at my art, you will very quickly discover that I consider blue a sacred color; in part, that is because the chapel I worshiped in as a child was painted with the most peaceful blue. But much of the blue in this painting is the blue of twitter.
Lisa and I have much in common. For over a decade we were both married. My marriage ended in death hers in divorce, but after our losses we both found companionship and loving friends due to a blue bird of friendship. Lisa also spent many years involved in pastoral care with her former husband, now she still counsels others and provides great comfort in only 140 characters. So within this painting the twitter bird appears again and again uniting this composition.
Another through element is the tree. Whether this is the tree of knowledge, the tree of eternal life or the world tree, it stands proud and tall and woven within its branches is a picture narrative of the elements of Lisa’s life.
In the lower part of the painting, a young provider counsels a palliative patient in the care setting. This represents the tweet chats that Lisa often hosts or takes part in that focus on palliative and end of life care.
In the middle area of the design, a young man sits within a tree smoking a cigarette. He represents the many individuals that Lisa helped in the addiction and mental health field as a counselor.
Beside the young man a woman is turned from the viewer and is completing a breast exam. Lisa is frequent participant in #BCSM (Breast Cancer Social Media) chat often connecting the voices within that community to other communities, thereby spreading their wisdom.
At the apex of the painting, a blonde woman stands above the tree. In her hands she hold a final two blue birds. She is completely nude, or as we say in the in the world of social media she is ‘transparent”. She looks upon the viewer with an intense gaze, asking us to look upon ourselves and communicate clearly.
Lisa wore this jacket in DC on June 4th all day at HealthCampDC and at the gathering of The Walking Gallery that evening. She was an amazing participant. At around 7:00 pm after 11 hours focusing on healthcare and social media, a lovely photographer with the Washington Post took a picture of many us lined up in our Gallery jackets. Lisa stands within that row with her head bowed and shoulders slumped. She tweeted at me later her dismay, saying she now knew why her mother said ‘stand up straight’.
I love Lisa in that picture because of her stature.
There are many of us who have been bowed by this work. Like the tree on Lisa’s jacket we bend, we sway, but we do not break. And what may seem to some to be a head dropped in fatigue maybe instead by a soul communing with God.
So Lisa in her jacket appeared in The Washington Post and became an example of sacred media once again.