All of our members are wonderful in their own ways, but some have talents that can be showcased. This will be a series, in which we invite you to meet our members.
October Lowe was born blind. She does not know what colors are, and she has never seen a human being or a dog or a tree, yet October functions remarkably well in this world.
As a child, she had seizures. To October, those seizures felt like electric shocks and she developed a phobia of electricity – fearing that it would set off seizures, and kill her. This phobia meant that she would not touch light switches or any electric appliance whatever, which of course made her life much more difficult than it ought to be. But that is the nature of phobias — prisons of the mind!
Recently, October participated in a WRAP class at the Grapevine, and her facilitator helped her realize that electricity had no connection to her seizures, and she was able to turn electric appliances and lights on and off. How liberating! She was elated and couldn’t stop enthusing about the WRAP class!
October has always been extraordinarily courageous and has done all sorts of things that one would not expect of someone who cannot see: She took up ballet! At first the ballet teacher refused to teach her because she feared that October would hurt herself, but she soon realized that there was no need to worry. October imagined a large clock on the stage and she found her directions based on the positions of the clock!
October participates in many activities at the Grapevine and frequently reads aloud to other members – reading Braille of course.
In addition, she used her attenuated sense of hearing to excel in music and singing. She has a beautiful voice. This writer was amazed when October was able to tell her what the pitch of her and other peoples voices are!
This Easter, October was spotted at First United Methodist Church, participating in the spectacular “Service of the Shadows,” the story of the Last Supper, on Maundy Thursday. There was October, singing with her beautiful voice, and reading the musical score in Braille.
Butler Eagle – Page D1
Eloise Woodward started painting as a means of recovering from her mental illness at the age of 27. She has bi-polar disorder.
The catalyst for her illness was losing a long-standing boyfriend; her father and then her mother within a short time of each other. Chronic anxiety attacks caused her to just fall apart and she landed up in hospital. When she started recovering, in a group home, she turned to her art for both meaning in her life and self-expression.
She had had no previous training other than taking art at school, but her talent soon became evident. Her style is expressionistic and very reminiscent of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” being very bold and passionate.
Going from strength to strength, Eloise now exhibits at the Art Center in Butler (Main St.) and has sold several paintings. She would like to expand her exposure and sales.
Her artistic talent extends to poetry and she has been
experimenting with poetry to express herself, too. Some of her other ambitions are to produce a book of her art, and poetry; go back to school to further her art studies; and in her personal life, to eventually go back to independent living. SPHS has a program of supported independent living which she would love to be able to utilize. The program starts only in 2017, so here’s hoping.
Art has been everything to Eloise. It has been the main impetus in her recovery. It’s amazing how bringing forth that which is inside you can heal you. Someone once said that what you do not bring forth will destroy you. The reverse is also true.