Tim Lowly defines suffering as a new experience in life. Tim Lowly and Sherrie bore a child with complications such as respiratory problem, brain damage, and cardiac arrest. The complications presented some challenges to the life of Lowly and Sherrie since they had no experience in parenting. Lowly describes the experience using “a metaphor of being on a journey in a desert” (22).
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Moreover, Tim Lowly defines suffering from using physical features and posture. In the painting of Autumn of Ashes, Tim Lowly reveals Temma lying on the ground while struggling to wake up.
The posture of Temma shows that she suffers because she is unable to stand and the painting of Strange Progeny portrays Temma lying in an awkward position, which depicts suffering. In the painting of Temma on Earth, Tim Lowly demonstrates her lying desolate and therefore, he gives a picture of suffering as loneliness.
Tim Lowly frames sufferings of Temma using different illustrations in his paintings. In one of the illustrations, Day to Day, Tim Lowly presents Temma as a dependent child, who relies on social support of her parents and other people in the society (Lowly 26).
The Day to Day painting shows a hand, which holds Temma, and thus, it implies that she is suffering. Another illustration is in the paint of Autumn of Ashes, where Tim Lowly depicts Temma lying on the ground, while struggling to wake up. The painting shows that the child suffers and requires support from the parents. Carry Me is also a painting, which illustrates women coming together to carry Temma (Lowly 31).
This painting indicates the cooperation of women in assisting the disabled child. Comparatively, the painting of Temma on Earth shows her in a desolate place, which is a representation of suffering as loneliness. The painting of Culture of Adoration renders that the students, who painted her were her age mates. Culture of Adoration also renders the respect, which the age-mates gave to Temma despite her disabled condition.
A new experience is an aspect of suffering in the story of Tim Lowly. When Tim Lowly and Sherrie bore their first daughter, Temma, the child had some complication such as respiratory problems, brain damage, and cardiac arrest. Since Tim Lowly and Sherrie were new in parenting, they saw complications as great suffering.
The new experience is important because it encourages people to face challenges that they encounter in their daily lives. Earlier, I thought that people suffer because of their own wishes, but I have learned from the new experience and noted that suffering is a natural phenomenon.
Social support is another aspect of suffering since The Carry Me painting illustrates women coming together to carry the disabled child. Women portray the spirit of cooperation and assistance, as from the time Tim Lowly and Sherrie bore Temma with complications, they got support from the community and friends.
Social support is important because it shows that when one has a problem, friends come together to give social support and help. I thought that friends and community abandon people in times of need, however; from Tim Lowly’s experience, I have learned that social support is very important.
Endurance is another aspect of suffering since Tim Lowly and Sherrie endured the disabling condition of Temma for a long period. Even after seeking medical attention, the condition of Temma did not change. Endurance is important because it enables people to cope with suffering since it is part of the experience in life.
I thought people with complications take a short duration to recover and regain their health. However, from the experience of Tim Lowly and Sherrie, I have realized that suffering is a long-term condition, and thus, it requires endurance.
Tim Lowly perceive suffering as a new experience, which is overwhelming for families to bear, and thus, requires support from friends and community.
Lowly, Tim. “Regarding suffering: An artist reflection on perception of suffering in painting.” On Suffering: An Inter-Disciplinary Dialogue on Narrative and the Meaning of Suffering . Ed. Nate Hinerman and Matthew Lewis Sutton. New York: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2012. 22-36. Print.