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When I look at this painting, I'm reminded of the art of medicine

It’s hard to describe what this painting means to me, but I am going to try. Up front I am going to say that I can’t really describe it in proper written English, so some of it is just words and incomplete sentences.


Also, this is a piece of a larger painting called “Mother” by Emily Lamb. I’m no art expert, but I love Emily’s work because it tells me everything on one canvas. I find that I’m always drawn into the story.



“Mother” was a gift that was given to me by my husband, Ryan. The person who believed I could learn the art of medicine. The person who believed in me. That is the real gift: To have someone believe in you so much.


The mystery of life. The seeming fragility. The depth of the journey.


The privilege of every breath we are given. The fleeting moments of this beautiful life.


The hands weaving lightly through the fire together with the determined stare of the lion: This was my dad, strong and focused, yet soft, loving, and wise. I will never forget his rough and tough sandpaper hands that were also so soft and caring, emanating love.


My dad knew when not to play with fire. He also knew when he could wield it and use its power.

Playing with fire to me is a little bit like playing with emotions. You can allow the heat of the emotions to flow through you, you can hold on (trying to control them), or you can ignore them all together. They will either warm your body on a cold night or they’ll burn you, or they’ll wreak havoc. The fire in this painting reminds me that we have a choice.


The leopard is playful with the fire, like my mother.


She reminds me that even when I am trying to find flow in my grief or anger, I can look for playfulness and lightness in life, finding a lighter way through my perceived obstacles.

When I look at this painting, I am reminded of the art of medicine, the art of creating.


Marrying the different modes and modalities. Interlacing nature. Connecting the dots of each person’s journey that led them to be seated across from me. Respecting the complexity and wisdom that exists in every journey.


Respecting the known as well as the unknown.


When I look at this painting, I feel the wisdom of those passed. Their wisdom is available to us to listen to. We can choose to listen carefully.


I find peace and excitement and joy and sadness. I find love. I find magic. And I find connection.


Every morning, when I look at “Mother” I believe that the magic will connect and heal us all.


Thank you so much Emily!


If “Mother” has inspired you, or there are parts that stand out more for you, please let me know in the comments section below. I’m fascinated by all the things this painting means to different people.


To see what Emily originally wrote when she revealed this part of the larger painting, click here. It is beautiful.

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