The Jail Tree

Migraines and the Art of Pain

The Jail Tree by Michele Bledsoe


Excruciating headache

since 2:00 am

curled up

hand clamped over my eye

to keep it from

popping out of my skull

beneath the unyielding pressure.

It went on and on

for hours and hours

coming in terrible waves..


When relief came

I was bursting with gratitude..

how wonderful it is

when pain stops.

So I ran to my easel

and painted and painted

with such great joy..


The headache did not return..

banished like a demon

in the light of God’s gift.



Painting Deadlines and the Art of Life


Work in progress: Detail of “The Jail Tree” by Michele Bledsoe

For the past week or so

I have been deep in the heart

of an epic painting frenzy.

Typically, I am a slow painter..

lingering over my work..

savoring every brushstroke.

But under the pressure of a deadline

I have thrown myself into the maelstrom

that comes from speeding up

the creative process.

It is a challenge of stamina

and skill.

A test of faith and trust.

Sitting at my easel for 12+ hours a day,

I have experienced almost every emotion imaginable.

It is a glorious experience..

A metaphor for life.