Recently, a new art exhibit opened at the Vancouver Art Gallery. It is from the artist Song Dong, who’s newest exhibit “Waste Not” comes from an idea he had of what to do with his mother’s years of hoarding things in her home. The theme for his creation I think is “10,000 items, 50 years, 1 person”. In her defense, like many Chinese born in the early 1900’s, she came from a humble home and did not grow up rich, so she learned to save- saving money, soap, food, all these little things that add up.
So her son, a contemporary artist, has now displayed and expressed his mother’s lifetime of saving things into an expression or reflection of her life. I’m looking forward to seeing this new exhibit, not only by myself but with my parents, who also like to hoard things for years as well, especially my father.
But this art exhibit is more than a reflection of one person, but a chance to reflect on ourselves. As much as all the things his mother saved is a reflection of herself, and all these things make her the person she is today. Similarly, we are also a reflection of all the things we save, inside or out, good and bad. All the challenges and pain we felt in our past makes us the person we are today.
Our health is a culmination of all things, physical and mental, that has happened to us. Our muscles have a memory, so that is why when we exercise, we get stronger. But also, in contrast, our body can store the stresses in our life, whether it is the bad posture we have everyday from work to sudden trauma from sports. For example, working everyday at a desk can lead to tension build-up in our shoulders and neck. Repetitive little shocks from sports like riding horses to working by driving a truck can add stress to our back. Sports with a lot of running like soccer or football can unknowing to us build tension in our lower leg muscles until we feel foot pain or suffer an Achilles tendon tear.
Thus, hoarding and health are related because our health is affected by the stresses our bodies hoard everyday. Osteopathy and other therapies can serve like pressure release valves for this build up of tension in our muscles and prevent future injuries. Therefore, rather than wait 1 year or 50 years, it is better to see your artist, also known as your local Osteopath or health practitioner, to see how you can feel better or learn holistically how your body is expressing itself.