To me, this painting has power – it helps me see and feel a little of the artist’s experience, in a way that words never could.

This painting is by Helen Harley, from Dorchester, United Kingdom. Here is how Ms. Harley describes her work.

“The work is called ‘How Are You?’, a question which is asked all the time when you are a chronic pain sufferer. One has the choice of sharing far too much with people, or just saying ‘not too bad’ or something similar…I usually fall into this latter category. Words can often feel inadequate to explain something that affects one spiritually, emotionally and intellectually and well as just freakin’ well hurting a lot physically!! This work is a way to take the viewer into the hidden world of being in pain all the time.”

The hidden world – so true. A big and complicated world. And, a world that is truly hard to understand.

I came across this piece in a very interesting website called,  This site includes a wide range of art devoted to the experiences and talents of people who live every day in pain.

What really caught my attention was the name of one of the galleries on this terrific site – But you look so normal. I had to check it out.

I have spent hours each day, for the past 30 years, talking to people about the chronic pain they experience. For me, the most direct way to understand is to listen with a generous heart and to trust the honesty of the people who are trying to reach me.

There is always more to learn.  And, inspirational art is another great way.

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Thank you for reading. Thank you to Helen Harley (artwork above) and Rachel Walker (image below, from Unsplash), for your creative work. And, please feel free to steal, share or join our growing list of subscribers.