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Tuesday October,twenty second,two thousand thirteen. 1:38 PM

ONE

Today marks the one year anniversary of the passing of my sister Nicki Ray Muller. 

As I sit here in her chair, in the very place that she has written this blog, I feel her with me. With her hand guiding mine, her fingers guiding my strokes typing to you all as to spark a memory, draw a smile, and to hopefully leave you with an overwhelming sense of light, as Nicki herself had always done, and did so well. 

I named this post ONE in thinking of the numbers that have always played a part in my sisters life, especially the number 13. Together 1 and 3 make 4, My mother, my father, my sister and I. Without the 1, leaves us three. A square to a triangle, a triangle that seems to be an arrow pointing to the future, a continuum. She has gone to a better and brighter place leaving us here, us 3, and all of you, to continue her memory for as long as your arrow may take you. 

I felt compelled to write to you all on this day to express the gratitude we have for each and every one of you. My family and I thank all of you who continue to support us, and who continue in making Nicki's memory eternal. 

As I sit here I no longer feel sadness, or pain. I feel proud to have had a sister that meant so much to so many.

I know in my heart that she will be continued by all of us, always.

108. Friday September, seventh. 8:33 AM

Here Again

There are many questions to discover as this world continued. I have been moved quickly to new places. My ability to read and write is quite difficult. There will always be questions. What I do know is that I need to keep going. I need to keep positive- no mater what. Never stop moving. -Nicki Muller 

PRESS "MAKE A WISH"

107. Thursday August, ninth. 6:51 AM

Finding It All Again 

"Make a Wish" has been such an amazing experience that has moved me in so many ways of this living. I never knew the power of others continued me with such strength. I meet Nigel Barker at the age of 13 after fighting my first bone cancer with Make-a-Wish. When I finished cancer treatments I continued on with the power of living. I started making work in high-school and continued on studying "Art" and learning what creation and "Art" really is or could be. I began to consider myself as an art maker. I believe calling myself an "artist" is a title from creations of others. I make work. That is my purpose here in this world. I began making completely new work. Images that I created were quite dark and intense to say the least. Within days of dark and confusion I was diagnosed with brain cancer. I never knew this life was heading my way. Life is an interesting experience to say the least. I now continue this life with power that fuels me. There is power in this world if we give it strength. I believe in the power of this living; this creation. I have been continued and I am thankful. I am here. I am alive. 

-Nicki Muller

106. Thursday August, second. 10:05 PM

The Continuation

I have been moved. In more than may ways. I feel powerful with the ideas of this life. I feel power with the ideas of those who enter me; who excite me; who know me. This world gives me much question but more so purposes. I have been continued by the human spirit. There is great power among us. I am open. I am aware. I am alive. We are here for reason. We are here for purpose. WE ARE ALIVE. I see this world for fantastic being amongst us power. I thank you. -Nicki

105. Tuesday July, Twenty-fourth. 3:03 AM

Time; Yet Power

I reach time in new places where I often find them odd again. the experience of living meets me in new ways often lately. the perception of this life has changes through time. my making had created new ideas at the for-front. I question creation on more levels than ever before. After viewing the Kusama Yayoi show yesterday I feel rejuvenated. I feel alive from from these powers that met me. The work that surrounded my existence met me so strait forward. Seeing such work reminded me of power purposes that invigorates my bones- my eyes, my hands. Making has given me purpose yet again in this life. The hands of others livid with the minds of another live through me. I am strong. I am powerful. I am woman. -Nicki

Over welled with amazing experience at The Whitney Museum

At Yayoi Kusama at The Whitney Museum.

104. Thursday July, Nineteenth and twelve. 1:01 AM

Many have come

Words have entered my way yet again today from email; from family. Every day I often wonder if I will have the power to keep fighting- to keep writing. It was a tough day for me yesterday. I'm not exactly sure why but I sat in the hospital feeling extreme pain. The feelings bother me most when there is no clear reason of understanding. My writing has always been a way to find reason and make sense. I find myself frustrated at times that is not like me. The body has many questions- more so lately and its hard. 

I received a fantastic email from a family member in greece. I cannot thank her enough for sending her thoughts.

The words of others have saved me day by day. Putting my trust in others has been today's experience. I thank my cousin for her reach out toward me. I needed it. Your power has been felt. Thank you. -Nicki

103. Monday July, Ninth, Two-thousand and twelve. 7:47:34 AM

His Words Give Reason To More of Mine 

Hey Nicki,

When are you updating your blog; I need my fix!!! I know a bunch of students who check that site often. In fact, are we allowed to make a request? Is there a chance you could write one that describes the advice you would give to aspiring doctors? I remember that a lot of the med students who attended the painting class were struck by your observation that the resident you once had almost never made eye contact. Perhaps if you're too busy to write a real blog post you could just throw together a list of things we need to remember when we become doctors, sort of like a list of observations you made throughout your journey - including things you would change about the hospital experience and your doctors? 

I know it's a big request, but it would be so important coming from you. If it's okay with you, I would then like to share it with the rest of the students in my class.

Let me know what you think!!

Robert

It overwhelms me to believe that works moving from one mind to another moved from me early this morning. It was as if these feelings fiqed through me amongst others. All of you who have written me in the past have always given me reason and purpose towards this living. It was been incredible to have written words to you right before I received words from another. I have thought often of you all. All that have written to me; have read through me- this is what I believe to be the reason that I still am here. The power of others to make such incredible chooses amongst such living. Meeting so many others stilling their craft has moved me in so many ways. Having conversation of question and reason has transfixed me through time and gas restore my belief in this humanity. Any conversations amongst though that find great interest in the jobs mentioned are an excitement to me. These gives me even more reason to know wheres conversations continuum my reason and better my reasons; better my hope and better my mind. -Nicki  

102. Monday July, Ninth, Two-thousand and Twelve. 5:26 AM

Continue On

  My tracks travels in new directions. There is much I've lost that once seemed easily readable. Works are more difficult to find. Keeping positive in the ideals of mankind is essential to each day I am greatest to. Positive interpretation through this livelihood has keep me forward. Silence amongst my self at certain points has made me more aware of the complexity of this life. This life we are all greeted by, met amongst. The strength of others has be as important as ever. The meeting of complete stranger has become humans of incredible importance and reason. I often think through these experiences meeting these travels of humanities have come more clear than ever. The people of my past, those of my dreams, those of my future love through my thoughts-my reason. There are may questions that meet my way. I am only meet with more questions that can never be entirely answered. I have believed it is essential to be okay with these at the end of the day. I have so often given up of thought through words sake because of these questions of the unknown.

Silence amongst darkness has saved me over and over. There may be reason for the unknown. "I make work". -Nicki 

101. may sixteenth two thousand and twelve. 11:13 pm - 11:30 pm

Message sent to self: May 13, 2012 1:22:24 PM 

Memory is a fantastic thing. I have continued this living for a year. Whatever this living is. I have returned to the date of my first entry here discussing my journey through this living. Now meeting that date again I feel a page in my life turning. I find myself freeing my mind in new ways and becoming new yet again. Hearing myself talk about it to a friend today made me more conscious of how very surrounded my life is on my health. On my sickness. On my treatments etc. yes these are important reactors of this living but it cannot be the only focus. I have learned something about myself through all this. I do not like to be bored and I don't like to be weak, physically or emotionally. 

Today at Pins for Pauly, a fundraiser benefitting those who face cancer. I was lucky enough to be a part of such a humbling honor. I am used to seeing family members of mine express their thoughts and condolences but I got to meet a whole new group of family. Singing koombaya my lord as paulie did I too feel a need to being peace of living. It has taken a bit to accept this life entirely. Facing it emotionally- facing it spiritually -happened yet again to me today. I thank the entirety of Paulies family I have been welcomes into. Today I was taught the need to remember it all. To live all and see the magnificent beauty among us. The beauty of belief. This is what has continued me. To believe in an idea. To believe in power. To believe in one another. 

I find myself returning to the many numbers that lead me in new directions. Diagnosed at 13 gave me incentive to look forward and carry it with me. I have explored and been exposed to 7. I have found its recent presence in my life. Perhaps 13 and 7 are switching. Perhaps they work together. Maybe this is just time telling me more about this world. The equations of numbers build as time continues. Math must make sense if approaches correctly. I was never too good at math in high school but numbers have become more interesting to me than ever. I work with perhaps the opposite side of my brain in my creation that explores art and words. But numbers are an entire different breed. I believe in the ones that point me to new ideas and hope for fields of new discovery.

I type these thoughts amongst the dark of my room. I think clearly here. There is a certain understanding of this world. That there will always be question. Questions must not destroy us but allow for growth and greater knowledge. Greater knowledge of the person we can strive to be. 

Satisfaction if life has to do with an individual acknowledgment of our place in the world. I think to the millions of sand particles on the beach I met with and how they stood under the feet I stood on. The only person that could do the hat work for me, was me. I needed to accept myself and my life first and foremost to make it through this living. Those that have lifted me and gave me strength are forever with me.

It is late on the night and I feel at peace with this world. I feel blessed. I have been continued by all those who have lived with power and purpose on their step. I feel ready to move on to more days of this living. Truly lucky and truly blessed. Without another I am nothing. With them all I am Nicki Muller. 

It's nice to meet you. I have always been found of the color blue. 

100. may fifteenth two thousand and twelve. 10:35 pm - 11:20 pm

Gunilla

i discovered the cover of this LIFE magazine when google searching the woman i had met in the NYU cancer oncology clinic after receiving a massage treatment from her. i knew there was something magical about this woman the moment i met her. the way she carried her self, the way she spoke, the way she moved, and the way she practiced her work. there was something between us both that immediately connected us. i was aware of something but was not sure of this something until today- when the world felt even more connected than ever. not even sure of where the conversation stared but we began discussing art. seamlessly, i discussed my reason for creation unknown till right after my brain cancer diagnosis. we discussed powers that we have been influenced by. powers that have saved us. powers that have continued us. i received an amazingly intense strength from this woman who sat in front of me as i sat enwrapped in white cloth and entirely enwrapped in our conversation. the reason for the unspoken connection from the beginning now became more apparent. after i mentioned my need to create quickly- in a manner that felt necessarily rushed; creating an image of a head with dashed lines surrounding it- almost as if they were indication markings for surgery. all of this work created before the high grad glioma was found in my head. an entire book was made in the two weeks before the tumor was discovered. following my story we had more discussion of making and continuum. she then open my eyes entirely with her story. she too had faced incredibly jarring places. experiencing an entirely new perception of life. i am still moved by her story and sharing that information with me woke me up as to why i do what i do. why i believe in this life. as she sat in front of me telling me about her journey from death to live it became more apparent why we felt something strong that has brought us together. 

before i had this talk with Gunilla that made me feel understood in so many ways i was told she worked as a model in her younger years. i then found these two images online attached to her name. the cover image of the magazine TIME she modeled in depicts a woman receiving the 'latest form' of radiation to treat cancer patients. i then discovered another image of her modeling amongst other women. she was positioned all the way to the left where her right are is not pictured. this coincidence has also brought me to question and divulge into the powers of my life to hers. this may seem ludicrous upon reading, but when sitting across from her today discussing our experiences of this living, and our belief in this world, and the powers amongst us all, i felt alive with energy for this world again. there is patience with this living, but there is an understanding or appreciation that cannot be met with words. 

i have been waiting for the right time to write about Gunilla or simply mention her new found presence and positivity in my life. there is reason for everything i do believe. we are lead in to new spaces upon others for a reason. we have to learn to respect time for its abilities and necessities in which the world carries out. i believe in the powers i have met and i believe those powers can continue me. those people have continued me. living is a magical thing; we cannot take this time for granted. i thank Gannila for her magic- her purity and truth to this world. -nicki

99. may seventh two thousand and twelve. 8:20 pm - 8:56 pm

powers

i think about what i'm supposed to do- the life i'm supposed to live. the experiences i must greet- take part in. i've always laid pressure myself to continue with power. to live my life with a strive towards success. but whom or what is it that I am receiving that idea from? i believe it lives within myself. i have to perform past my initial thoughts of success. perhaps this is impossible. perhaps it is for everyone. we are only truly satisfies with ourselves in moments of clarity i believe. at least for me I feel compelled to better myself- to constantly continue my abilities, better my ideas since i have been continued. i began this continuum thinking only of each and every day as it greets me. however it is my ideas i experience that branch my living onward to the future. there is great reason for these moments we choose to grab or let fly past us. also interested in catching those thoughts is how i have continued. on my way the other day the butterfly that caught my eye staid on the side walk as i grew rear. as in grew closer to the butterfly it staid put. ruled its ground. owning that moment, that space, its power. i chose to sit a few seconds and watch its stillness and then continued my way onward , leaving the buttery it's it's spot on the pavement. this is what it means to greet a fantastic moment of life, of living and continue on as it always does for us all. -nicki

98. may fifth two thousand and twelve. 4:18 pm - 4:38 pm

lime green

i came across the thick lime green ribbon in my draw from when i held my first fashion show in high school- all the models, my friends, wearing vibrant lime green ribbons tied around their arms represented the girls who had past in my life, all of different cancers. all whom i met at the age of 13. finding this exact ribbon today gave me no excuse to be upset or frustrated with my living. others have met these grey threatening places way more than i have. who am i to sit here and fall deeper into sadness? yes i need to acknowledge my emotional pains and experiences that have effected me but i cannot dwell there for too long. i have been given the chance for living yet again. i must be thankful. there is great positivity in this lime green that meets my desk as i type beside it. it is a wake up call they have sent my way. those girls who past at young ages give me reason to move forward, to let go of any anxiety i may have with my ideas of living and continued creation. this lime green reminds me. of how very lucky i am. -nicki

97. may third two thousand and twelve. 10:23 pm - 10:42 pm

darkness

there's a magic in this darkness. there is beauty in this silence. i feel my mind at peace when this world is mad simple. there is something true that greets me in these dark rooms. there has never been a time as comfortable with meeting the dark as it is now. my life has changed through the set and rise of the continued sun. i feel at peace in the moment of silence i meet the dark with in this living. i feel most alive but most gathered. my breath centers my body as i indulge in the moment. my ears ring and i am reminded i am still here. the images meet my thoughts on the canvas of infinite space. the space within my mind that gives birth to new ideas of new imagery to be created. new sound to be spoken. new feeling to be felt. my words are of the night. of the dark. there is no weakness here, only power. power to accept the darkness as the other part of the brightness. without the experience of night there is no day. we must try best to understand each facet of our living. of our powerful purpose. i feel rejuvenated by this confined realization of individual power and individual presence. to truly see yourself for what you may be head on. to get to know the being that you are. we all do not get to know ourselves enough. perhaps this is my realization of the darkness that excites me most. i learn things about myself i never knew existed. pure magic in these dark spaces that leave the mind for question. -nicki  

96. may second two thousand and twelve. 12:48 pm - 1:17 pm

shades of blue

through the time span of the past few months, i have come across many new individuals that i have gotten to know by ways quite different from a simple hello and simple exchange of character. these relationships are much more meaningful to me.

i have always recognized a women in my church wearing shades of blue. there was always something mysterious yet fantastic about this women. it was until this year that she was but a mystery to me until one sunday she came up to me in church expressing her regards of concern and hope for better heath in her comments. she expressed her hopes and prayers of positivity for my health. every time after this first meeting of two, every sunday she received her communion and then made her way over to the opposite side of the church to check up on me. the conversation was short and included her satisfaction from seeing me looking and feeling better. as the weeks continued she became a powerful proscenia towards my survival. sometimes it takes a complete stranger to step to your prescience to make you realize the beauty of this living; the exchange of power from one human being to another. across those pews, amongst those words heard, she felt my need for her prayers perhaps through the thoughts of others mentioned; through the words written in our church paper, through the guidance of greater powers. i do believe in the many powers that exist among us that lead us forward in good health and positive perceptions. the positive powers of people is another blessing i truly believe is what has continued me. i knew it was necessary for me to somehow give thanks to this fantastic women dressed in blue. i decided to gift her a small painting using mostly blue hues. if there was a way to describe the color realized from this women and my experience of her, this painting would aim to do so.​

at one side of the canvas i inscribed mt reasoning for such a work. it read, "For you, your kindness, your strength, your thought, I thank you."

yes i have felt power of positivity from those close to my living. but i believe it is the attention of a stranger in such profound and genuine manner that has moved me in new ways; has saved me in new ways. i thank Ann for all her help. i thank Ann for all her courage for making her way to my seat in church and sending me such positivity and hope through her blue vibes. i'll see you soon next sunday, as always. -nicki

95. april twenty ninth two thousand and twelve. 12:32 pm-1:31 pm

the others

all week has been a bit emotional for me as i meet the year to the day i was diagnosed with brain cancer and operated on. tracing those steps at the current time was a jarring realization that so much time has passed. to believe i have been continued this far through this living was a blessing yet a trying one for sure. 

yesterday became all too real for me as i woke up four in the morning thinking. thinking too emotionally about the day approaching. thinking too seriously about any self confirmed limitations in my lively hood. i forced myself to discard of the thoughts and return to a deep sleep. i woke up tired. tired of this living. i woke up feeling defeated. there was no medicines to blame the emotions on this time. i pushed any frustrations asides as the day continued. right after dinner i felt extremely tired and felt pain in my neck as i often do. it was not only physical pain that jarred me but emotional pain. within a few minutes i found myself in tears as they grew longer and heavier as i continued and explored my thought. i have been through so much for so long and i felt tired. i felt exhausted returning to the exact dates. would i be able to continue and make it? would i be able to win against these powerful cells? will my arm be able to hold up until i am able to have surgery on it to fit any weakness in its construction? will my shunt malfunction when i am unable to receive surgery? (since i am undergoing chemotherapy surgery is not an option for at least a month after the Avastin is taken). time had scared me. for one of the few times i met uncomfortable situations this day of the one year mark was one of the most uncomfortable and stressful for me. 

i sat on my bed with tears down my face and a pit in my stomach. when will this all end? when will this sickness be over? my two parents sat next to me knowing much of what they had to say wouldn't change the emotion i was experiencing. i needed them there- just to be there; as they have been for the entirety of all battles i have faced in my life. i have always had the support of my parents, battling these sicknesses alongside me. i could not be more thankful in knowing if all else fails i have the love and support of the ones at my side. 

this has been an odd week for me. returning to the places-mentally- where i was a year ago. this morning i sit across the breakfast table where my father often takes me. my father begins discussing his experience in high school then planning for college and deciding his interests to study. he then mentions and continues with his experience getting drafted in the army that same year of life. he mentions the different thoughts he experienced over in Germany where he was sent at such a young age to live with complete strangers, battling completely new sets of problems that he never even thought of here at home. my father mentioned how allow he felt that first night he was drafted and having to be on watch at the start of it all. sitting there feeling completely lost. i've heard all my father's thoughts on the experience many times. but today it meant something a bit more personal to me.

this fight my father had to meet with at such a young age was the same fight i was fighting at such a young age. different in context was similar in the idea of the psychological battle. how our experiences effect us is not often addressed. i have been far from meeting my second illness last year, i thought. only to find myself face to face with the exact date of that first scan telling us i had a high grade glioma in my brain. 

i could not walk away from this any longer. the day went by slow enough to catch me around seven pm. it felt like a collection of memories and thoughts pushed aside were too powerful to escape unnoticed. the one thing that entered my day lie in the video interview of photographer Nigel Barker. the words he spoke reminded me of the strength it is to continue. the strength that i felt i held the other day but lost today. it was crucial for me to receive such compliments in my perception of living. it reminded me just at the right time when it was needed that i need to look up from the emotional pain i found myself trapped in on such a day. i have lived through cancer once- i will live through it again. and by 'live through' i mean making the best of every second of this life. cancer is not a curse i have decided. it is just another way of dealing with things. if it is one assigned to me i must be okay with it. 

i think back to all of those kids when i was thirteen attending the hospitals and having to receive chemotherapy and treatments alone in the hospital oncology unit with no parents of theirs in sight. understanding parents who need to work long hours etc. i felt truly blessed to have their constant in-person support. my mom and dad switched so they could keep their jobs, support my sister and continue this family. i think of all the sacrifices they had to make in order to keep me as healthy as they could. there was many tough days and many happy days. i remember many things of that experiences that at times frighten me more now being treated for cancer at an older age. nothing is ever easy. but no one said it would be. when looking back to age thirteen what i battle now is easy in comparison. 'easy' is a definition different for everyone i suppose. 

my thoughts continue and make loops amongst all these recent and past ideas of my livelihood. i come to these circles where emotions scatter between unhappiness with my situation to complete happiness with my living. i suppose we all have moments of combative thoughts held within our self. life is not easy but no one said it would be. i've said this before and try best to keep reminding myself. these are the positive experiences that i need to focus on. whatever the many things are that have saved me and continued me are the very things i need to focus on. it is incredibly important to reference the past and dwell in the moments needed, but to continue i must pull myself out of these darker places. i must allow those around me to pull me out of those places of question and doubt. 

i have noticed the power and necessity of others. -nicki

94. april twenty-fourth two thousand and twelve. 3:18 pm-3:52 pm

time stops or does it

i woke up to my clock reading 12:00- thinking i woke up unusually late. i then grab my cellphone to check any messages and notice it is actually 9:35 am- not the 12:00 pm i saw on the digital clock i've relied on for many years. i question why it is that the clock stopped from its intended functions only to display the 12:00 time. after taking the plug out of the wall and replacing it, i was still meeting the 12:00 face to face. the red light from the one and two along with the pair of zeros stopped. the time had stopped in time. it was a framing of a moment- numbers that represent an increment of the day that we call mid-way. there have been so many of these numbers we pass through without full recognition of their identity. i think of photography and how it is capturing a certain image of time that has passed. the images that illustrated the continuation of life. there is always now, there is always then [past]. for some there is tomorrow and for others there is the idea of continuum. lead by the idea of day by day thinking. the halt of the clock that sit next to my bed in its own world stopped. time has never and will never come to such a halt. perhaps because this clock has been through the series of medical experiences and diagnosis's i have encountered and it is ready to end its telling of time. it is fine with simplicity of illumination of a moment in time. perhaps this halt, and illumination happened for the specific reason to remember this idea that there may be moments where we feel time has stopped in our living but there is still light. the numbers are still illuminated, despite a confusion in the telling of time. i do believe these signs that come my way have told a powerful story through this livelihood. as i grow closer and closer to the day last year i approached the computer and discovered i could not read. the day i was sent to the hospital in NYC to then have brain surgery performed on my tumor. i remember bits and pieces of the recovery process after getting out of surgery. most of all i remember the dreams i had during this time. some familiar people would appear in these magnificent tropical jungles and forests of incredibly tall trees where homes were built on top of and the colors of the land surrounded me; invigorated my being. the dream lead me to climbing high trees leading me to constructed jungle homes where my long hair meet the kindness of other women and men and families of those who lived in the jungle. i knew it was the existence of these creatures in my dream that protected me, saved me. after waking from that dream, i thought of these creatures often. being in such a space that i was- dealing with recovery of such a surgery as my own was a battle. i haven't recalled this dream for quite a while. didn't even realize i would remember it now as i type. that dream continued me. i was free there. i was free from pain or illness. i was protected by creatures, just as i feel protected by my parents or family. just as i have been protected by any animosity for my living. when i am not on any medication, same old nicki, i am happy with my living. that 12:00 image halted on that shelf next to my bed brought me back to those dreams. those magnificent dreams that enlivened me in spaces i at the time could not physically be in. however mentally i could and can explore the world. these ideas have given me more appreciation for the incredible ability of the brain. yes my brain has faced different challenging thoughts- but what i have acknowledged is its chance to be continued. time has halted for me in my dreams as my clock now remind me of. -nicki

93. april ninetieth two thousand and twelve. 9:05 am - 9:35 am

another thing

dealing with osteosarcoma at age thirteen was one thing but visiting weaknesses again at age twenty one is another. now i am not talking about weakness in my memory or brain i am still talking about my arm. having had surgery at age thirteen to remove my tumor and some infected muscle while and bone replaced with a donor bone with thirteen screws and other titanium structural supports. with limited range of motion in my arm as well as limited strength, i grew to live with this arm. this new arm became a part of me. i became okay with these changes because of the power of adaptation. i never really thought people looked at me differently because i didn't look at me differently. if anything i was even more powerful with such an experience. i sit here seven years later with another experience of a week right arm. the strength i thought i built up over the years wouldn't win over the passage of time. the arm hardware would eventually call for either more or a change. i guess thinking of my head for the past year i haven't paid attention to my arm. the effects of chemotherapy weakening the bone may have a lot to do with my current situation. the one positive effect is that chemotherapy weakens the possibilities of cancer. what it does not ensure is strength anywhere else. so this pain in my arm began after a great night out with my high-school friends. we danced all night just like we would always do, no matter where we were. i had a chance to get away from the medical world for a night. i could dance like a normal twenty one year old female worried about nothing. it was nice. the next morning i woke up to a weird sensation in my arm as we got ready for church. something was not right. we went to the local emergency room instead and i really believed my arm was in pieces all moving around. because that is what it certainly felt and feels like. after the scans were taken and observed the local doctor said nothing looks out of place from the original scans we brought in from previous x-rays. across the way i saw a father and his teenage daughter starring with huge eyes across the way at the doctor holding up my arm scans. i glanced over across the way acknowledging the fact that yes some people are not incredibly comfortable seeing this scan right next to the person it belongs to. seeing this scan of an arm that looks more like a machine from a movie. so thing is i need to get this checked out further by my surgeon and see what he has to say about the whole issue. at the appointment we discusses art and creation while he threw in his thoughts on my right arm and its future. as the incredible surgeon that he is, Dr. Lee conducts his appointments with his patients in a very interesting manner. i can tell his mind is always working, thinking fast and forward. while juggling more than one thought at a time Dr. Lee makes it aware that he has an incredible mind through these slight actions. i believe in his craft and knowledge and will always do so based on his abilities to continue my life. after some discussion he knew this time would eventually come where another surgery would be needed on my arm. new surgeries with new methods have been created for a situation such as my arm. however right now is not a time to operate because of the chemotherapy i am on. i have to wait at least a month to operate on anything. i knew this agreeing to this new form of chemotherapy as it does put risks to your livelihood. but then i think living is a risk on its own. might as well throw some medicine in there to continue my living longer. what is a bit frustrating is living for the time with a painful and weak arm. having to be even more conscious of my right arm is a bit frustrating under the thoughts surrounding my current dealing with a brain tumor. it is just a bit too much at times to handle it all, emotionally, physically. it is hard but no one said it would be easy. -nicki

92. april fourteenth two thousand and twelve. 10:33 pm -11:12 pm

rush

i feel a sudden rush to gather my thoughts. i have felt continued over and over again and have finally felt at a stand still approaching these very days. these days that so vividly remind me of the two weeks before diagnosis last year. it has been odd for me to approach these spaces of time and memory; facing and confronting new challenges, physically and emotionally. how i make sense of my reality has been from keeping myself busy to now facing the dates on the calendars head on. within days it will be last year exactly that i were to start a new week not being able to comprehend my email. not being able to read the text in front of me. that idea playing back so clearly frightens me every time. to busy my living with new projects, ideas for making etc. i have ignored facing the realities of my living. of course nothing has been completely ignored and overlooked in my living but it has been fast forwarded by my own decision. i wanted to pass through this wave quickly. now a year later i am still battling this cancer and i am still dealing with its effects on my body. time has gone by and to recognize it and analyze it for what it was worth is a lot to take in at this moment. attending church this past weekend triggered these memories for me. holy week in the greek orthodox church is a combination of intricately performed services and beautifully moving hymns. it has always been a week of inspiration to me growing up. last year it was a telling weekend that lead to the discovery of my brain tumor. i remember not feeling right then. this time around i felt overwhelmed being in church one year later. these memories shake me a bit. its scary to think i'll ever be in that beginning start again. to even fathom that is possible perturbed me. i came home after friday night's service when jesus passes feeling incredibly emotional as my eyes gazed out of the car windows as we drove home. my family carried conversation assuming i too was involved in the positive mood. i felt as though i was drifting further with each word. i was falling in thought. falling in nervousness. in worry. thinking about the time my battle begin last year. i needed to slow down. slow down from all the medication and slow down with my thoughts. a cup of tea with one of my amazing professors elke also made me slow down these past few weeks. this rush to continue my work has been a grand distraction from my illness. the rush to continue my self was put in focus and that is what scared me most. creating work has been the very thing keeping me active in having purpose to continue at all. distracting myself from facing my illness head on has been the temporary answer for me this entire year. declaring it 'okay' if my life had to end after december- after my first art exhibition Bone to Brain showed. i told myself i would be happy with showing the work that i did and living the life i lead until that point. i would be okay with it. but thing is it did not end there. a new year started and i did not know how to make sense of it. i was continued by the time of time but i was not fully woken up to my living in the first place. like a gust of air this year began passing by and receiving chemotherapy and other medications to de-swell my brain i was further distracted instead of the previous semester of classes and surgeries paired with the harder chemotherapy pills every night. fall should have been seen as even more insane to think of it. my shunt was replaced three times. that was all during the semester of classes. the only way i did all that i believe is by not fully accepting the fact that i am a 'cancer patient' i don't think those commercials will ever make me feel proud. i don't believe i will ever feel great pity for those who ask for it. i have a lot of thoughts of the idea of the 'paitent' that bring me back to when i was 13. i guess i have always been bad at that role. sometimes it's better to be bad at a role because you learn something from it. you take something from it. recently i have realized my attention to my self. or lack there of. the attention to the physical medical emotional experience of this entire year of living. it is time to look back and look forward, continuing the power of the now but revitalizing the experience of such. i cannot be stopped and downed by these thoughts of my past but rather further educated and empowered. i have let them dull me the past few weeks and i am not okay with it. taking the time to realize, recognize and then continue has been the true challenge for me. it is hard to face a lot of things. most importantly it is hard to face our own lives that we are living. -nicki

CONTINUUM April 2011  

91. april ninth two thousand and twelve. 8:28 am- 9:14 am

time's speed

the time i grasp to sit and type seems to shrink as the days go by. my living feels as though it has been bettered through time. i have been lucky to have made it this far in this world. so much is to be explored. so much is to be known. i have been thinking of the journals i kept the three weeks before the brain tumor was unveiled. furiously making work with what seemed like no solid intention at the time, was incredibly influenced by the sickness in my brain. i know this now, almost exactly a year to the day i woke up and could not read. i reference that sketchbook with the jarring references and wonder how quickly it all happened, and yet how did i not act on it sooner? its almost as if my production was trying to tell me something. what my hands were making lead a crucial experience of the brain at work, finding inquisition in an experience of living. i still question the connections of the work i created before i was diagnosed. it becomes a mixture of ideas further than my comprehension. the power of the brain threatened me greatly in this experience of living. to take conscious notice of that is what facing cancer, yet again, head on, meant. facing it and having the will to beat it was certainly a task. again time trickles through my space and i find myself coming closer and closer to the start of the tumor discovery last april. the idea of coming 'full circle' plays in my mind. the circle that serves as my continuums. the circle that i made as a painting the same week i was diagnosed. there is something quiet about this painting. something discovered and undiscovered. layers and question lying amongst an ambiguity. this was my mental experience at the time of making. this is what landed on the stretched linen. there is so much wonder in this painting for everyone who passes by. there is great question in it all. these all exist for me as well. that is beauty of creation. that is the beauty of living. the unknown can elevate us to new spaces of life's interpretations. i have recently been recalling all the events that were happening this exact time last year before diagnosis. everything stands out to me. i remember it all. i believe there is reason i should. there is reason i was continued and i must take not of that. i must explore simply driven by nature and desire to make. there is so much i need to learn about this living. so much i need to learn about this time- this body through time. so much about the being that i am. this living will never be made simple. and that is the beauty of it all. a complex inquiry we can approach simply, aware of great power but willing to face and challenge it. i have challenged these powers. we have all faced something great by simply being. i look to this circle and i still do not fully know where it leads me. i look at the painting and the white space around the image surrounds me. only now i feel color again. i see color again in my work- in my creation. it has never been more important in my creating than now. i am alive. i am thankful. i am in color. i am in creation. i am in continuum. -nicki 

90. april fourth two thousand and twelve. 8:09 pm - 9:53 pm

of living through creation

my life has been in full speed this entire year so far. my ability to create has been furthered. i have been pushed and guided by new ideas fueled by new energies. at times these energies were effected or altered by prescribed medicine to control the many issues involving my brain. i have become a variety of creators in this past range of months. the year started new for me and also as a bit of a shock to me. mentally i prepared myself to be okay with my life finishing after my first art gallery exhibition Bone to Brain 90.13.20. i had mentally come to terms with the fact that i lived a great life so far in the age of 21. i came to terms with the end of the year aligning with an end of a life. the end of my experience. well, i was wrong that time had it planned for me that way. i didn't have to make sense of the idea of death- leaving this world- because i was here to stay. 2012 began and the world certainly did feel new because i was continued further than i had ever imagined. a new year meant more time. a new year meant more living. that gift is greater than anything else. the gift of time also meant more opportunity for me to make. to continue my obsession with making. my obsession with inquiring about this world i have journeyed through in specific and unique ways. every day has been a true blessing for me. every continuation of my breath has been acknowledged. if i know nothing else of this living, i am lucky- i know that.

i have continued this life through making. now given so much time to live, i felt that it has been necessary for me to create. this is my experience of furthering myself. what has recently furthered me as an individual is the article written by a New School Free Press student at The New School University. i met Jill in one of my psychology classes last fall semester. i had noticed her handing out and placing stacks of papers to place throughout the many New School buildings. i had been wanting to get in touch with an author at the paper to see if anything i had experienced over the past year of my life would be of interest to document as a story. i guess i wanted to get someone else's take on my story i had be living through. Jill and i kept in touch over the winter break and quickly after that the words exchanged. the meetings continued. the photographs were shot. the article formed just as quickly as my thought to ask Jill what her name was in the NYC street near one of the New School buildings near Union Square. i introduced myself and from that very moment of impulse so much has been made. Jill Heller followed my every move over the past few months. she was incredibly inquisitive about my past, my current and my future at all times. her questions made me relive much of my experience of making, and furthered my own personal questions i have of my work. she joined me for the NYU Medical Painting Class i held last month. she watched me orchestrate the lecture, answer everyone's questions, and teach the class of NYU medical students. she was a pair of recording eyes. documenting this experience as it happened. it was a really interesting experience continuing with these interviews with Jill and her photographer partner Stephanie. i remember them clicking on their voice recorder but also remember not being conscious of it at all. i spoke with them like old friends. filled with questions i knew i was dealing with talent. that made me sure that what would come of all these photos, questions, visits, more documentation, meetings etc. would be fantastic.

i had no idea she talked to all of those mentioned in the article. until recently reading it i did not even know she knew how to get such personal quotations from some of the contributors to the story. all of the amazing people who have entered my living were sought out by another to reference me. i am humbled over and over again. i have nothing but amazing things to say about all those who commented on me. it is an amazing feeling to know you have impacted another life in a positive manner or a manner of intrigue. i suppose everyone hopes to be remembered in some way shape or form. here i was just hoping to be continued in this life, and i am being known and remembered for much more. there is something overwhelmingly fulfilling in it all. 

at the latest exhibition of SKIN which i shared showing work with Jeesu Kim and Laura Heinzinger a crowd filled the gallery. everything we had worked for as a group came together as the night continued. we shared many ideas over the past months starting last fall. creation and making serve as incredibly important to us all. it was gratifying knowing others shared such an interest in this experience. soon enough the opening night of our show was here. time has moved so quickly these these past few months the show landed right in front of us so quickly. we began installation and as soon as we started hanging the group of fake and natural tree branches our ideas for our initial sculpture changes drastically. working together forced us in new spaces with new ideas and new excitement. another mind and its collaboration with another mind and yet another leads to extraordinary things. things that could have never been discovered by one. this is the beauty of art making amongst groups. creation shared is creation furthered. this is something these women taught me this past week. so involved in my own head with my own thoughts of creation, it forced me to open up and take it what others understand about making. both Jeesu, Laura, and I discussed everything we installed. a group show, a group collaboration, a group set of decisions. i thank them both for all the inquiry, all the ideas, all the work and positivity. 

my good friend Rachel Greco came to the exhibition and hooked me up to a microphone and recorder along with a film crew throughout the exhibition floor. documenting my every word and move through the entire exhibition was an entirely new experience for me to encounter. as the night continued i completely forgot about the camera around me. the exhibit slowly died down with the crowds of inquisitive on-lookers. Rachel pulled me aside and asked me to answer a few questions of hers. Rachel would be inquiring about my experience with a second cancer, brain cancer, and creation. asking the array of inquisitive questions was nothing short of the Rachel i have grown to know and love from high school. i had hoped i did her questions justice. i don't know much of Rachel's current project just that it involved my living in some way shape or form. i have always found a strong woman of great talent in Rachel and with that would trust her with anything. i look forward to continuing our work together with her Fairfield University film crew team.

at the end of the exhibition night i sat in a hallway of the Fine Art building on 13th street in NY, NY across from a camera, my friend Rachel, surrounded by her crew and my good friend and event photographer Hayden Manders, answer her final few questions of my experience of the exhibit. the night was coming to a close and it arrived so very quickly. i was surrounded by fantastic people. this living has continued and yes it is amazing. these are the thoughts that passed through me. i rose from my stool and headed towards my parents located in the main space of the exhibit by my paintings and by the empty food table. all the wine was gone and the food plates barren. most definitely many people had traveled through this space. i am happy for such a positive turn out. my mom is fiddling with a stack of news papers next to the empty food tray. my face sits right next to it all. the article has been printed. 

A SURVIVOR'S CAMVAS lay the title upon The New School Press in bold. there was an image of me sitting on the flood in my home amongst all my most current work from this year. i reach page 8 and 9 and find the double page article about me. about my story. about my living. about my experience. about all those who have entered into my life. all those who have influenced and continued me. i am humbled yet again by the work and appreciation of others around me. to see an article online is one thing. to see it printed in press is another. there is something so real about this paper's tangibility that raises me.

i leave the exhibition to head back to long island with my parents and i simply cannot believe the life that at one point seemed complete has opened to new fantastic places, to an awareness of a new incredible living. yet another set of examples of my continuum here on this earth. 

i reminisce of seeing all those who attended the show and humbly thank you all. to all my friends, all my friends of friends, to all my doctors, oncologists, surgeons, orthopedics, social workers, art professors, art curators, art makers, friends, parents, sister, my family, my one, his family, etc. the list goes on and on. you all play many roles in my livelihood and i have taken notice to it all. i thank you. over and over again. my work continues. -nicki

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE INVOLVED WITH              SKIN, THE NEW SCHOOL PRESS, FAIRFIELD FILM & MY LIFE

___

89. march twenty-seventh two thousand and twelve. 9:54 pm - 10:42 pm

the bruises that i am okay with

[CONTINUUM]

i wake this morning with a sense of relief. "amazing response" was two words i picked up from today- from the email sent from the doctor who was in charge of my radiation treatment i received this summer. the emails all came in from the list of doctors who have been on my case, monitoring my living.


there was something right for me yesterday upon waking. i started creating as soon as i got up from bed. i started with ideas that made fun of myself for experiencing swelling in my face from the decahedron i have been taking to ironically de-swell my brain. i guess you can't have it all. i referenced charlie and the chocolate factory when Viola turns into a blueberry after eating a delight from the factory without asking. in this moment i too felt like Viola all blown up and odd looking. creating was my way of taking something so real for me and making it okay. making feeling fat in the face comical. being okay with not looking like myself and continuing. positivity varies with the varying medications i have been on and with decahedron i will take happy when i can get it in its purest form. before my face grew slightly in size i was up most of the night, hyper, and full of child like energy. now that i have continued and time has passed the medication has new effects. i began taking the brain de-swelling meds with great negativity emotional effects. me and decahedron have been up and down and up again these past few months of de-swelling my brain and swelling my face. it is a weird experience to say the least.


regardless if i look like i ate too much cake recently, i received fantastic news yesterday. fantastic news indicating that the tumor appears to be gone. the edema is reduced. edema is the fluid in your brain that appears when trying to get rid of all the dead cells. all these dead guys came from the radiation and chemotherapy treatments i assume. the idea that i just like to produce all kinds of cells could be why i ever had cancer in the first place. the way i work naturally is a bit complicated for this living perhaps. but i have come to terms with that and it is okay. i have to battle a bit of strange cells at inconvenient times in this living but who gets to pick the right time for anything anyway?


yesterday i entered the MRI scan waiting room with a bit of unknown confidence. i was okay with my living. i was okay with the fact that this is where i was at this moment in time. they called my name like they always do the many many times i have been there over the past year. the one thing that stood in the way of me and this MRI was the veins that run through my body. the nurses have been finding it harder and harder to access a nice juicy vein that is willing to get its blood donated. by donated i mean used for the intravenous they need to attach me with to put the MRI contrast through during testing. three pokes here, two up there. my veins are too small. or my veins are too weak. i should have drank more water last night. i hope i don't need to get another port put into my body somewhere. why can't something be easy for once dealing with this body? there were all thoughts running through me as i ached in agony every time they would prick and search for the vein that would hopefully work and give the nurse- now three nurses- my blood access. once they hit a vein it didn't matter what had happened before. the pain all disappeared. they had accessed the vein- that is all that mattered to me. i apologized for any tears and any signs of discomfort, and for any of them having to deal with that. they all expressed their sorry-s that i just didn't feel right taking. this was my prescience that caused any of this frustration. the three or maybe it was four women who all aimed to draw my blood were fantastic in handling the situation and i could not commend individuals enough for doing that work. i know i sure would not be keen on finding my vein with a nettle if i had to.


i entered the MRI room as i asked for the standard ear plugs as they added extra cotton. i was appreciative of this seemingly small activity that meant everything dealing with the loud sounds about to come my way. my head and body were strapped down and in like usual and i closed my eyes as the bed moves in the tube-like machine. incased in i have the ability to glance up at the mirror from what is located in front of me. i thought that was smart whoever came up with that idea. for a quick second you don't feel entirely encased in the machine (only you totally are). after having done these scans so often they have become meditative for me. i almost enjoy them. there is something about the sound that is methodical and continuing that brings its listener to new spaces and new thought- continued thought. it has taken me many of these tests to relax my body- my muscles- and my mind- my thoughts. i remember being at a young age basically freaking out in these machines; where now i tap my feet to the beat of the test in the room as i lay flat extremely still from the waste up.


i felt at peace.


my father has always been in the room with me whenever i have to take these tests. he sits in a chair across from the machine with ear plugs in. i hope it is not as loud for him as it is for me. his prescience means everything to me. couldn't say i could be okay if he wasn't always there for me.

"I just looked at her scan. She has an amazing response in the brain with near total resolution of contrast enhancement and decrease in edema." sent by Dr. Narayana MD from the Department of Radiation Oncology and Neurosurgery


words could not be more powerful than they are to me right now. how these words have been arranged to convey an experience of living. my current truth. my current state of health. i am okay. that is what these words mean to me. if i am okay today i am okay. to hear someone say this is everything to me and my family. to anyone i find friendship with. to anyone i find strength in. to anyone i see passion in. there is reason for this living. perhaps it will never be truly discovered in its entirety but what i do know now is that we are continued. i am continued. i am very much alive. 

-nicki

88. march twenty-sixth two thousand and twelve. 10:04 am - 10:15 am


time

i have found myself often quiet in my use with words lately. i have found myself typing thoughts on here and then quickly removing them as if they are not worthy for discussion. i find myself in these spaces whenever i am on to something wit physical creation. at least thats what i am starting to believe of my practice. when i use my ideas and hands and skill to make something else that is beyond me or outside of me i often loose my connection with words. it is difficult to always be on point with reason and production. words have great power. making work with words has great power. different but great. i dwindle in these spaces and find myself currently floating. between a humane survival and an ephemeral space of creation one can call art. sometimes i find myself questioning if there really is a true definition or word worthy of its existence. my questions of this living will constantly continue. perhaps this is why i have silenced a bit. quieted my outpouring expressions or experiences to make sense of it all for my self. i believe silence is crucial. i believe darkness is important. as its opposites are just as valid. taking note of this life has been what has been passing through my head lately. taking a deep breath to my experience and noticing this life for what it is or what power it contains. moments of silence; moments of blank canvas, all have the opportunity for music and bright, powerful color. -nicki

87. march twenty-first two thousand and twelve. 8:51 am- 9:58 am

a lot has happened. a lot of life has happened.

Photo: Rachel Greco

it feels like time is speeding by and the music in my ears continues. the music in my living continues. i haven't felt many moments of normalcy in my livelihood and i have always been okay with that but lately i have had the chance to live again. and not to live like a cancer patient but to live like a healthy individual on this earth. it has been a long time that i haven't ignored my sickness and went out with friends at night and not worried one bit about my health, my further, my MRI scans, my X-rays, ANYTHING. it has been crucial for me to stay in the positive, i know this. but it is even more crucial to feel human and alive. i can not comfortably settle with patient as my title. that is not the only way to categorize my living, if a way to categorize it at all. i played the radio this morning as the sounds exist right behind me as i type. i usually work in silence in my room against the window when i type these entires. i usually isolate the moment from the abundances of any moment in hopes that i won;t be distracted from the toughest that begin in my head. i have accepted living in this world and its complicated and elaborative spaces that involve many many factors. sometimes we need to make peace with these multiplicities. sometimes we need to confront the fast pace and live in those spaces. this reminds me of my differences in living home in the suburbs versus my past living in the city. this is why i consider myself an individual of two spaces; two places. the city and the suburb. these two spaces have fueled different work looking back and moving forward. i see how my habitat has effected my work, my mood, my experience.


my thoughts continue as the music continues. they bounce back and forth to the past week of all of the amazing things that have happened for me. i once wondered if everything i believe is amazing really is to others. and then it didn't matter one bit. if it means something to me, it is everything i fell, everything i believe. my truth and my definition or understanding of this livelihood propels me. i then find myself thinking of the other night where i orchestrated my first official college art class. this has been my dream since i was very young. at a very young age i found myself climbing into my mother's closet for a set of high heels and old sunglasses i could pop the lens out of to make myself seem more official sporting them. i would grab an old suit from the 'dress-up' trunk and prepare the lesson plan for the day. i would set up two seats, one for my yiayia and one for my papou (my grandmother and grandfather). whenever they were in town to visit they knew it was time to play students. i took on the role of planning the lessons, grading the papers, disciplining, and continuing with teaching dance to my yiayia after class so she could make some extra points on her low grade i had given her the week before. i taught her to dance. that meant i taught her to dance the best way i knew how which mostly involved me twirling around which ever way i decided as best. i declared the 'right way' as my own way. whether it be teaching or dancing i was always confident in my decisions, or creations.


i think of these moments in my childhood as the beginning of my career. the very beginning of this livelihood. i always created. whether it was a lesson plan for my grandparents to a potion of flowers and leaves in my backyard with my neighbor friends. i was always making, working, interacting with the world and people around me at a young age. i have noticed now that i have always been attracted to this world. fascinated by this living. enriched by new experiences whether anyone else defines them as bad or negative or amazing and positive. i guess i have always defined my perception of this livelihood. whenever anyone questions or has questioned my perception of this living i am thrown off. this is how i guess i felt before getting sick last year. i felt confused about this living because i felt misunderstood by those around me. mostly in my new environment of the city. perhaps i needed more time to convince everyone my reasons for making. my reasons for the creations i manifested. but the problem at the time was that i didn't know them myself because my body was angry with me. the tumor has taken control over a part of my brain i believe to effect my attention to who i grow up with. my self had darkened. these are ideas i wonder about often in thinking of my second diagnosis and how it all played out.


i sat in the NYU medical center as i unloaded my bag of past sketchbooks and older work created before i was diagnosed with brain cancer this past spring. i felt nervous to soon sit in front of a group of fifteen or so medical students all around my age and older, to discuss my life and my making. where would i start? of course i have been thinking about this for the past three weeks and ever since the idea of teaching a class came up. i believe we are always thinking, always churning ideas through our minds. it is only when we start to pay attention when they become actualized as thought. this has been my dream to be a teacher. any kind. to plan a lesson with reason and purpose that educates a group of individuals previously unaware of a subject or experience. i had this opportunity to educate highly educated individuals. highly intelligent and inquisitive individuals. this is everything to me. if i do nothing else in this livelihood, i have done something powerful in this moment.


i started my lecture with my story at age thirteen. then quickly trailed on to my current battle by firstly explaining my art practices and how they predicted my current battle with brain cancer. the class all sat before me as i told my stories, surprising myself how quickly it all flowed out of me with such reassurance that this is the exact space i was meant to be with the exact words i needed to speak. i did not loose the class' attention for one minute. once i finished my lecture i asked the class to then ask me whatever they wish. i was then met with a mixture of inquisitive questions both personal and medically based. some scientific and some more emotional. i enjoyed this spectrum because it furthered my understanding of their understandings. after a few more raising of hands the questions became about what was to happen next. i then disturbed the project i had hoped would inspire the class to paint today. i opened up a folder i had made of all imagined i created the week before i was diagnosed with brain cancer, which included a stack of black and white images of sketchbooks and a psychology book with a human head on it. only i made these copies completely askew and jarred as when i photocopied them i twisted the book while the light scanned the image to be printed. at the time i had no idea why i did this. i just did it because the image created was interesting and new. the black and white pages printed out completely jarring and twisted; malfunctioned images would be the proper term to call the. these mini malfunctions that i created on this copy machine referenced what was actually occurring in my human head as the tumor continued to live breading cancer through my cells unknown to me.


the entire class laid out the images i provided on computer paper in black and white on a table within the classroom. i asked the class to do one specific thing for me after referencing these images i created. i asked for color. this ask for color had to do with my current presence in this living. all of my work created before my diagnosis this past spring was made in black and white- void of color. now in recuperation and hopefully survival i have been introduced and become friends with color again. color has entered my life again and i discussed this with the class of students about to paint.


the work created was fantastic. yes this group is a bunch of medical studies but they all had artistic inclinations. the discussions continued as they painted and i walked around having conversations with the medical studies in the room. as the night continued it felt like i was just hanging out with a group of old friends. music by outkast was playing on pandora when i returned after washing my hands from some paint, which always seems to end up on my skin, and it felt like this group really connected to this activity, this moment in time, this experience. i found such purpose in the entire night. i felt such purpose in my living weaving through that room of medical students, seeing all the amazing artwork they created, asking all the fantastic questions they had. i got the chance to be an art teacher, fusing my medical experience with their own. fusing my love for creation with their own. sharing my livelihood and experiences, and beliefs with their own. i felt complete in my practice. i don't think this feeling comes around too often for a lot of people. i am blessed for all of the attention the class gave me. i am blessed to have called any creation for that day a result of my existence. this is everything to me.


when i talk about the importance of others in life i point straight to this experience as example. these people have continued me and have enriched me. they have reassured me for this living and this practice i so believe in. i simply cannot thank them all enough. i continue just as i hope they continue. practices as doctors and practicing as art makers.-nicki


a special thank you to Robert Spencer for attending my first exhibition BONE TO BRAIN 90.13.20. and asking me so many questions upon first meeting. also a big thank you for staying in touch and deciding to plan the Gift of Time painting class lecture and project entitled An Event with Nicki Muller.


HUGE THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK PART!

YOU HAVE CONTINUED ME.



86. march thirteenth two thousand and twelve. 7:35 am - 8:24 am


in the wake of the night in the dusk of the morning i continue


it feels so long ago since i really stopped and written here upon this computer, upon any notebook for too long. i have constructed activity for myself to take part in every day to continue my living. to keep me 'busy' they like to say. well 'busy' is working. since i didn't continue my classes for this semester i was worried i'd be left with too much time- which i know i am not good with as an individual because i need a consistency of production, or action, of production. that is probably why this past summer was so rough on me physically and mentally because the radiation and chemotherapy would make me extremely tired at the simplest of tasks. becoming out of breath was no joke when i took a short walk around the block. i remember relying on using my bicycle after the first main surgery once i got somewhat better to keep me active. but even so i was never as far traveling as i used to be. i had to acclimate to a new kind of space i existed in. i had to become okay with this world again and in new ways. this summer was rough. on my physically and mentally continuously. right into my fall registration and class schedule and production. yes i made myself return to class because that made me 'okay'. i was not okay but if i mentally believed so perhaps this hard time would pass. if i convinced my brain and body that i was over this cancer, past this disease, and that my body was functioning properly again, then it would in reality and i would be continued. i had hoped to be continued but i gave myself until the end of the year. mentally i just needed to finish the year. have my solo art show, be recognized for it and i was good. i was happy with that. of course i had hoped i'd get the chance for more living but i had come to terms with my life ending. i really did. with the new year of 2012 january was odd to me. i was still on plenty of medication and feeling odd. but i was continued. and that kept me going. the idea that another day wasn't ludicrous and actually very possible. so january started to play by and then february i started to feel my body revive. with decreasing the chemotherapy that killed intense cells all last year to nothing and then starting my new chemotherapy drug this past month i am a completely new individual than the woman i was only a few months ago. it has almost been a year since this journey began for me. this second battle with cancer. its almost as if me and my cancers quarrel for a while, negotiate some terms, decided who gets what points and who gets to continue. this is my living. exciting for sure. by trying none the less. i can't say i'll ever be completely strong. but i can say with all of the people who have surrounded me; with all of the strength and belief that has continued me- i can't give up. it simply wouldn't be fair to everyone who stands beside me. to all those who have raised their hands to continue me it would be wrong of me to simply give up. to think last december was my last december was wrong. i was wrong. but this world has proven me such. these people and their strength has proven me wrong. i am so glad they have.


i have been painting constantly with the new year. before and during both bouts of cancer in my living i have painted many a things. i have inquired many thoughts, colors, emotions, both subconsciously and consciously. i have discovered new places in my being just by utilizing the canvas and paint. the paper and pen. creation has continued me i am sure. creation has proven my reality. i analyze all the work i have created before my second diagnosis with my high grade glioma tumor and it frightens me how much we are subconsciously aware of but consciously blind to. i created work a semester before the spring semester the tumor was discovered and removed the week i woke up and could not read my homework email this past spring of 2011. that fall before i created an image for my final piece for the class at my dorm room desk with my two colored markers. one was black and one was red. the image read "INFECTED" at the bottom and was attached to a brain image created at the top of the page. i was fascinated with street art at the time and had them posted around NY as a street art campaign. the project was about an infection of the mind. of an idea. but i didn't understand at the time whose mind i was actually referencing. the mind would be a reflection of my own cancerous infection. it gives me the chills to think i had printed out scans from google of brain scans. why did i do this? why did i feel the need to create in this way? i remember looking at the image at my desk and thinking what i should create next with these fascinating images i would soon have made for my own reasons. i remember putting them aside after using them for that one project for that one class. i remember referencing different diseases such as AIDS but this had nothing to do with AIDS at all. this had to do with my cancer. my brain. my future experience. 

i do believe in listening to these moments of unconscious. i believe in paying close attention to how you feel. we must all take notice to this instances where ideas or thoughts or feelings enter us and move us in whatever way. pay attention to your self. i must stress the importance this has brought me. i have felt more like myself than i have in a year. i have felt most confident in my decision making and living in the past month or so. i feel alive again. but i have let myself experience living that way by paying close attention. its a hard feat for some to find happiness. it was extremely hard for me before and after brain cancer diagnosis but it was a trek to happiness that i am thankful for. it takes times to agree with this world on some things. sometimes the stars feel aligned. and sometimes they don't. but that is okay. and we need to learn to deal with what the world had dealt. sometimes there is no rhyme or reasons. there will be moments we have NO IDEA why and maybe never will but if we pay attention to our living, if we take note to our experience we may get closer to any idea of an answer or understanding.


i urge you to find the patience i needed to discover. for me it was brain cancer that forced me to move slower, to read slower, to eat slower. but i am picking up speed. i remember everything from my childhood to now. i remember everyone, i am better with names of new strangers and i was never good at birthday dates. so i feel like the nicole i left for a bit last year. i feel like the girl i thought i had lost to brain cancer. no cancer did not get me. i got cancer. i beat cancer. again. this is what i believe and this is how i live. i have high hopes. i have big dreams. and i know this world is destined to take me far. i faith in people and i continue this living with excitement. with dignity. with knowledge. we need to all pay attention to this living that i know is true. -nicki

85. march seventh two thousand and twelve. 3:02 am - 3:37 am


i write to you in a variety of phenomenon; a complexity of numbers and relationships of the mind

this post is number 85. 8 + 5 = 13. it is march 7th at 3:00 in the morning. i did not pre determine any of these relations before walking up from my bed and engaging with this computer. if this doesn't speak reason in this living i do not know what does. its as if this world continues me in such a specific manner of unconsciousness that i am furthered. i feel lifted and carried and continued. it is a magical feeling. i truly believe i have never before felt so alive than i do at this moment in this living. i wish for everyone this elation i experience with such true. this perception of a world that is so clear. the ideologies that continue me push me to new spaces. allow me to explore new thought frequently. recently you will always find me jotting down notes in my journals which have duplicated, scribbles all over napkins after dinner, even notes all over my bandied package box because that was the only paper i could find in the car. i need to pay attention to these thoughts. we all need to pay attention to our thought. everyday, second to second thoughts that bounce between us, within us, and around us. take notice. take notice to your self. this governs you. i now remember why i even picked up this laptop in the first place. because i remember. I REMEMBER. i remembered every function on that sewing machine that my Papou gifted me when i told him i wanted to learn to make clothing. i had the urge yesterday to create a dress with fabric i had purchased a while back. it is striped a dark brown and white. stretchy. it would become and continues as a dress i decided. i will paint upon it perhaps tomorrow when i get a bit more time that the twenty minutes i used up on constructing it this morning before going into the city for my chemotherapy treatment in new york city. i remembered every click, every thread through. no my major is not fashion, i taught myself how to do it with its how to guide it came with in high school to make my first fashion like NICKI RAY CUSTOMS. this way made more all the girls i ever knew who passed away from cancer at my age of 13 if not before. i made it for them. i created and continue to create for and because of them. this is what i live through. these spaces of these girls. its powerful to think i have a team of four plus women up in heaven or in powerful places guiding my living, protecting my livelihood, continuing me. i believe that. always have. i believe in the image of my grandfather i exhibited right before i was diagnosed as a sign that he was watching over me, knowing a second cancer was about to be found. that image is back in my possession after its return from the showing gallery and having this large printed image document in my prescience now calms me. knowing my grandpa is back with me watching over me. he in particular has entered my life in my dreams but more recently in an overwhelming feeling of the now. its almost even hard to believe it myself. when i speak of what i experienced i almost don't believe it. my grandfather spoke to me. and i will lay my hand to the group in truth when i say i experienced this. the day my church held a special prayer service for me i felt his presence. i felt god. i felt the parish. i felt it all. i felt everyone's presence. i felt my grandfather speak through me in the middle of the night as my parents consoled me upon my bed as we all huddled together in hope i would beat this. my grandfather wished me to continue. he reassured me to continue this life. he was the voice of true reason and understanding of whatever this living could mean. he truly spoke through me. as if i needed to say what he believed to my parents who sat on my bed. my father was moved as my mother wept. i broke down in disbelieve that i connected so closely to my grandfather i never had the pleasure of meeting. but it truly can say i have the pleasure of knowing him. i can feel him living through me. RAY is my middle name. RAY is the name of my late grandfather that i spoke with that very night. RAY past from cancer not being treated appropriately. RAY is my continuum. what i believe to be my reason for this living. him alongside the girls i have met while battling Osteosarcoma at thirteen they keep me. they continue me. the strength of women and the strength of RAY push me to live. my faith, my church filled with people there to pray for my health; they continue me. they all have. i sit here in my childhood home where i grew up and learned of this living and i am at peace. i feel so loved and feel so alive and there is nothing more i could ask for from this living. when an individual has seen such darkness i suppose the light shines only brighter. i suppose the sadness only makes the happiness stronger. we must open our lives to experience what tis living has to offer. i feel completely new. yet i remember it all. i now remember everything. things that had been hard the beginning of this second bout with cancer. my memory has shot back with power. my knowledge for this livelihood had resurfaced and flourished. i truly believe i can do anything. we all need to maintain this glorification of the self. because we all are capable. we all are powerful if we allow ourselves to be. free yourself and notice. this is an incredible living. -nicki


i meet 3:37 at the finish of this post. 3 + 3 + 7= 13.




_______________

84. march fourth two thousand and twelve. 3:46 am - 4:02-4:13 am


in the crevasse of my journal in the dark: she enters my mind, my being

andrea has furthered me in this livelihood and i hope she is aware of it. to my sister who completes these circles, my body begins. my sister completes me and has saved me in meant forms of this living, this experience. it is safe to say i have been continued by my sister. by her abilities. her existence. we work in conjunction through this living- this is what i believe. i believe in this team. the team of us.

i don't have to complicate this living in any way. its a simple relationship of strength that determines us both.a simple relationship of a complexity of living that continues us both. love and connection always to you andrea. thank you for carrying me through this living at your side.-nicki

83. march second two thousand and twelve. 11:25 pm - 11:45 pm

we call it what we will

i have been through a series of realizations over the past week regarding the state of my living. i have analyzed and realized those who moved amongst me. those who enter my space, enter my understandings and propel me further in this livelihood. i drown out the current sound in space and let the silence direct me. directing my attention to these inner thoughts that have continued the day. there is a silence needed to truly let this thoughts reveal themselves for what they really are. i have experienced great passion today for this life. for those who surround and support me. i can not continue without their mention. it is the ability to engage in these spaces and engage with words of others that excites me. my ideas flow so radically every hour i find myself awake. the notes sit next to my bed as i realize more and more i have much more and more to do. my attention to a productivity has been made clear. apparent. constant. this has been my re-birth i assume in many ways. i recently wrote that i feel cancer has saved me from neglecting this life. because it has propelled me forward to a greater understanding of it. a greater appreciation for the now. it is ironic that something so threatening can bring such solace. i look to those i value in my life and i have rediscovered their importance all over again. the need for those that surround me has propelled me. they give me reason. that shape that reason into beautiful, wonderful, forms. i think of Derek. the man i call my other. he has continued me through this living. along with my strong family bound to my existence i feel continued by the. along with the word of faith and believe in a living for my soul, i am continued by the grace of others. i sat within a restaurant tonight and the colors of food that lay in front of me became a world of a beautiful understanding. we have the power to consume this beauty, this health. we have the power to take notice to these vibrances of experience. it lays there within this world and upon this world for us to take form. it is an awareness in which we can fully open our eyes as much as it is a sensitivity to these emotions that run us. i believe in these thoughts because i have felt. we all have and all will. bring your attention to theses experiences of feeling because they are extremely telling. it all lays there for you but powers amongst us all. i believe we must take not. these connections are far too powerful to go unnoticed or let be ignored. this is power we play with in this living. please take notice. i find it quite telling if we take the time to listen to a truth laid upon us constantly. continuously as i have mentioned before. continue your self. continue your purposes. whether they are made fully conscious or not. perhaps you take it for a test. perhaps you enjoy it simply for the day. whatever your menthol holds, there will always be a path leading toward a greater truth. i embrace this world. i am grateful. i have lived and continue to take notice. -nicki

 82. february twenty eighth two thousand and twelve. 8:06 pm -10:04 pm

in my notations

i write in realization that i have recently met this keyboard. i hadn't realized hoe close in time it has been. amazing really how the moments of living have continued me. how so much has entered my living that is positive and forth coming. ideas and projects that have propelled me to new spaces. new ideas that continue me. it is both refreshing and rejuvenating. i knew if i was going to take a break from school i was not going to take a break from living. with this acquisition i made it known that i was going to be continued. that this living would reap benefit and production. so here i am not far from last time, ready to fill you in on today. on this very morning when i woke and inscribed in the journal book that sits next to my head. only this morning it was amongst light that i wrote. often i find solace in the darkness. a calmness that continues me and my thoughts. my words become open in the dark. but for whatever reason today i wrote so the words were seen. the pen hit the paper and it was entirely seen. my thought was made entirely visual; real and apparent. here are where my words begin:

i have experienced such moments of elation in this living i feel so humbly lifted by the day. i am continued and i could not ask for anything more. i am taken by the experience of beauty that rules this living. the world has opened its doors is what i believe. my doses are lesser. my fragments are lesser. there is mere sense set in place. i have not forgotten anything. my memory returned with a vengeance. my sight has returned with power. power great power runs through these veins. there is an awareness through this living that continues in me. what i believe continues us all. we have the very special ability to become aware of who and how we are; who and how we work upon this earth. amongst this age- this living. we have that power to open our attention to living. it becomes a combination of an overall awareness of self in space but that appreciation for the now. the what is. the what exists in the moment. the second that continues us, the light that meets the very words that i inscribe now. these places of darkness meet these places of light harmoniously. they work together to exist. they need each other to function, to continue. with one there is the other. with one there is the other. we cannot forsake our experiences of darkness for a difference in our perceptions of light. they work hand in hand. light is to dark as dark is to light. this must be remembered. this relationship must be taken not of. we have become aware. i have become aware thorough these spaces. through my travels in this living day to day. i had experience now living from the very start of it all. i have followed new paths and explored new lands without ever fully knowing i had the ability to do so. i don't believe it is easy to see these new paths until they have been ventured through. until we have ridden(written) through both the darkness and the light. through the silence that will calm us and figure us if we allow it. it has become incredibly important and necessary to experience living in this day. by writing, by recalling, by noting, by creating, and becoming aware of these spaces of darkness and light. it is a travel. for me a necessary travel that began at the start of this second trying journey. i am okay with it. i am keen to this living, the experience of it has elated me, has opened me entirely in new ways on new levels with new appreciation and interpretation of what and how it means to enjoy this life. to live this life. my works have continued through this special journal quickly giving me little if no time to record them. where abbots regarding time and exact moments. but this is where they become even more real. this all of the moment. of the pushing force that urges me to record the thought that enters me, that comes from me. i do not have assigned locations from where they are. i do not call them home. they fly in space- through space among my mind- these thoughts travel and will continue to new places- new spaces. i just hope i have the ability to catch glimpses of the interesting. to record this experience in the best way i can to how i feel it. to how i understand it. i spread these ideas from how they enter me onto the paper i en-scribe and i wish them well. i know they will be furthered in some way by some one. i write these words that flow through me so they are taken. so they have the ability to be taken by whoever wishes from them. for whoever needs them. my words are spoken to be understood. perhaps but more so experienced. understanding is made individual i believe. but there are moments of my living i have found universal. moments i may experience that reach out to every mind to every hand and every heart. i believe this. this continues me and this moves me to write, to live, to continues upon this earth. i have these energies sent my way and i must not ignore them. the power of text and story has always infatuated me. it has always excited me. continuing wisdom in a manner that references time, experience, discovery etc. this to one is what living is. this to me at a young age is how i defined life. i never questioned the amazing thing called life. i knew it was way bigger than any of us, outreaching to endless world and opportunities of existence. so these thoughts continues me, these words further me and i feel more education in this living than i ever have before. i know i will only grow more. i will grow in reason. i will grow in understanding. and this deals with the abiltiy and desire to lay open to this world. lay open in this living to what it means and how we see it. everything is subject to change, to alter, to test. i have been made aware of that. but that is okay. this is the function of life. it is about the changes. it is the change that defines this experience; this living. we are nothing and no one without them. we need to be tested to fully appreciate what is- this living- our experience of it- our perception of it and time entirely. if we can accept this experience we can live entirely. what i would like to say, entirely in peace or at peace with ourselves- with others- with the entirety of this world - this life. for our emotions, from our perceptions create this life's outcomes. our interpretations continue us or end us if we allow. it is up to us, us all i believe. to join in a positive force and see this living for its incredible factors. to reach these moments of elation that i find myself inscribing this very second. i continue. i have been continued. and i praise the world for giving me that. i praise the lord. the god. the whoever for that. however and whoever has continued me. i believe in it entirely as i should. i point to this world that has saved me- time and time again and i think of my personal connections with all. i must remain strong in my confidence that this very living will follow me far. that i will live a long life of experience that continues me to wonderful places upon this earth. i am elated in this early morning yet again my words have furthered me. to new experiences of this living to new understandings of this living. i am thankful to be alive to have this pen, to have this book. it is an inquiry we choose to confide in. an inquiry i hope to continue my entire life to continue me, to continue this living.-nicki



81. february twenty eighth two thousand and twelve. 1:10 am -1:33 am


the continuum


i wake to feel a vigor in my veins. a true call for living that becomes me. there is this surrounding energy about this experience that has greeted me through this living. the world is new. i have accepted it as such. there is great power in realization i have found. there is an even greater power in change. this change comes from an awareness of production with my physical, emotional and spiritual body. the world is new. a rejuvenation would be an understatement to the person i now feel flowing through me. there is humor. there is happiness. there is energy. pure and real energy that flows through me. it has been a long year since i have had the pleasure of experiencing these activities. i speak words and they are brighter than they have been in quite some time. i work amongst and alongside other individuals and i have encountered these powers. its a rediscovery of what it means to live. to be alive. i endured trials and tribulations for a long time coming but i feel i have reached a new destination. a destination of living. of thriving through the space we have been blessed with. this space elongates me; saves me. these people wake me and activate me as they once did. i no longer feel entirely controlled by external forces i feel foreign to. it is as if the body has become my own once again. or close enough to the idea of my "own" as i have been over the past year of living. its as if i have grown closer to my self, sense of true being. by true i aim towards the idea of the real. the genuinely of my place of existence here on this planet. yes it was most necessary delving through those dark spaces. yes it was needed to hit the points of low incoherence to gravitate toward an elevation. when it feels as the stars align i must not question only continue. when my muscles align and my body tunes with its existence my cells feel positioned perfectly. i can not question this perfection of momentum. i can not question the positivity that engulfs my current living. my attention to the now and my appreciation for living breath. i cannot question this reality. it is simply too good to wonder its stepping. its only an acceptance that lies in order. an appreciation; am honoring. not only do i feel honored by the gift of life i feel propelled by the gift of energy i so missed for so long. my body thrives and it is good to here those words made wholesome from my language of living. i think of everyone who gravitates around me. who moves me in new and magnificent ways. those who have continued me at times i was unsure to do so on my own. i feel even more elated by their existence. by their continuity. humbled yet again in my living. i wish nothing but the best for everyone who believes in it. for anyone who gives power to the fight of this living. for anyone who commits to a truth we set for ourselves. a truth that is never truly and entirely defined but in existence for us to reach toward. i am continued. we all are if we are open to it. we have great power through the veins that run these eternal systems. these individual systems that spread through us all. we are all connected. eternally. let that be known. let even system be appreciated for, accounted for. notice yourself. notice each other. we have the power to continue ourselves we have the power to continue each other. i truly believe this. do not forsake the powers we exchange. take notice. and take care. time runs far and fast an appreciation is in order. i call for it. by and from us all. each and every individual that creates the power of this living. all the best to your experience and your continuum. i bear you good night, rest this rejuvenation. notice this living for all it is worth. best always. -nicki



80. february twenty third two thousand and twelve. 7:05 am - 7:13 am


last night's service: a thanks to Savas Zembillas (Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh)


I have felt entirely lifted by those around me. Eternally propelled and elevated by their purpose. Their prescience. I feel propelled; an understanding of reason of space and elevation. Purpose. The presence of his tear. They dive and live within. Don’t’ ever feel anything less than emancipated by these living movements of powerful others. I thank you yet again for your spiritual power and drive for this living Bishop Savas Zembillas (Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh) With great love and admiration, Nicki.



79.february twenty second two thousand and twelve. 8:40 am - 8:58 am


"Avastin"


so yesterday was the first day of my new chemotherapy treatment labeled "Avastin" in the expansively wonderful field of medicine. over my youth i have taken dozens if not more medical treatments created in a technical lab somewhere to maintain the human body upon this earth. i have been incredibly lucky to have survived the strong cells i have and continued living this life. drugs have saved me. surgeries and medical advances have furthered my life; furthered this creation. the divine creation of humanity impresses me continuously. to read up on the new medication i am now starting visit, the Web MD site here. here describes a brief analysis of the current medicine i now work with. yesterday i entered the NYU Cancer Center with great hope in this new drug that has been quite successful for its past counterparts. success is always a lovely word to attach to any medical treatment, body etc. i find it incredibly important to say up to date on advances such as the one i experience. this effects a nation, a world, it ins ability to overcome strong and powerful illnesses such as brain cancer. it is incredibly necessary to say current; it keeps is actively involved and resourceful. there has been moments where in the beginning of finding information about myself out that frankly i just want nothing to do with. this is naive of me to attest to this activity. yes it is difficult accepting myself as a patient, and as a recipient of medical treatment for a large portion of my young life. the reality is this is my living and i need to come to terms with that. i need to be okay with it. i need to respect myself enough to pay close attention to the matter in which i am treated and the decisions that define my now and my future. we as individuals must be smart. the attention to our lives is everything. if we can not give ourselves that undivided entirety, no one else will. we must respect out bodies. we must respect our space. knowledgeability furthers us. activity furthers us. allow yourself to know and be furthered. -nicki


A special thanks to a wonderful woman names Gunilla who I finally met and worked with yesterday. Gunilla is a fantastic massage therapist at the NYU Hassenfeld Children's Cancer Treatment Center. Immediacy we connected with this positive energy I will always remember. I hope to continue working with her and gaining the benefits of her practice. I thank the NYU team for supporting such activity and promoting these varieties of healing practices. Introducing me to Rahki and other forms of this massage treatment I have felt lifted in new physical ways. I highly recommend an inquiry in this form of treatment and awareness of the body. Please take note. -nicki



78. february twenty-first two thousand and twelve. 7:30 am - 7:41 am

awake


written on my telephone as the morning opens


I wake up incredibly early and I rely on my devices to write. My ideas to lead through the moment of existence I wonder who these words reach to first. I wonder where these thoughts travel. These new spaces continue me with this time. These days do not frighten me as they did at the beginning of this new year. I feel I move right alongside them. Perhaps ahead of them. Maybe in conjunction. Space has always influenced me to see the world in new ways. How my body interacts with this world fascinates me continually. I find new ideas in the wake of the morning as my eyes lay wide open to the light that falls upon me. I jot down all these ideas I hope never to loose for good. These ideas are everything to me and loosing sight of an idea has been a past reality for me. Experiences of not remembering have been part of my existence. It has altered form these unconscious and conscious spaces the past year now. I have exported more than I ever thought possible in this specific track of living. I don't expect to be set on a knowledge of this living because it is such a collaborative testing of experience. This living layers and layers to extraordinary divisions and connections. The brain has continued me and it's complicity perhaps is never meant to be fully understood by the simplicity of man. These thoughts enter me and I am fueled to make progress of this living. Propelling an activity of my living now that it lays on front of me. I continue. This one continues. I live entirely. -nicki



77. february ninetieth two thousand and twelve. 1:36 pm - 2:07 pm

today is sunday

i arrive home from church service today and i feel emancipated in many ways. i have decided to take a lessor amount of the medication that i feel was causing my bones to feel weak. that already has boosted my body it feels and i already feel stronger. medication has great effects and i can not denote that or overlook their power. we must be aware of what it is we do with and to our bodies. internally, externally, mentally, spiritually. these facets of our living are all interconnected and we must acknowledge this. our bodies live upon this earth for reason and we must take note to our interpretations of this living and experience. keeping my eyes open and most important the heart to this living experience.


today in church i i kept feeling propelling to write down my thoughts. in hopes of not appearing too rude i asked my mother for todays paper and jotted down all the ideas that entered my mental space as the service continued. i assumed some sitting behind me wondered what it was of importance i needed to so quickly jot down in the pew at church.


i felt completely moved today by the service and i guess now i am trying to discover trying why. i also feel moved in different ways in different places if i am whole heartedly acknowledging it. there was a break of fresh air today for me for whatever spiritual or ephemeral reason. i felt a truth with me as i stood there. i felt a reality of this living live strong upon me. the religious space i found myself in had a lot to do with it but even more so by the bodies that fill the church around me. all those who have graced these spaces and now have left this air to now be taken in by my body.


upon today's service booklet i now review as i type these ideas that either entered me directly or subconsciously through a moment of specificity. i quoted these from today amongst me-"I am continually humbled by the power of people"

"I feel elevated in this sacrament, this living that moves me emotionally; this spiritual eternity."

"I believe amongst this consciousness. This living of the unconscious moves within me and the faith I hold for this spiritual living continues me; continues us all."

"I write among the space, I feel compelled to notate this experience. This most peaceful movement of living."

"Darkness is the absense of light" and "Rejoice in salvation" then rang in my mind to record here on this very paper.


These moments of living or an elevated understand for the ways of this world have moved me in many ways. Words have always been important in my understanding of this living. i ask for an attention to the words that pass through us, within us, around us; they create great power in this living and i believe it necessary to pay close attention. open your mind to these moments of living and one will sure feel elevated as i have had the privilege of experiencing this fine morning. -nicki



76. february eighteenth two thousand and twelve. 6:50 am - 7:11 am

brittle bones: breakdown and build-up?

i awake to the feeling of brittle bones that extend throughout my lower body from the surface of my hands. i feel positive in the mind set but i feel quick weak in the physical body recently. it allows me to analyze this figure and its strenuous activity over time i have have to endure between the very treatments i have had to encounter beginning at ager thirteen til now. i feel as those my age marks me as too young to experience weakness in my bones or pain in these places. often i think of my greek grandfather and i visualize his hands, his eighty year old hands that have passed through so many spaces, touches upon so many things and i see the stories upon them, i see the fragments created by time and experience. there is great beauty in this journey, i am aware of that. what it is i hope to find is a beauty in the pain i feel shooting down my legs as i ready to sleep the past week or so. i am trying to make sense of an uncomforted within my small hands that addresses me at such a young age. it shakes me a bit to think all of the processes, treatments, medications, alterations, my body has been put through weakens me in any way physically or mentally. of course i am reluctant to call myself weak, i don't think i will ever have the chance to entirely admit to that. strength has been an idea and activity i believe to have continued me. and yes at times strength has wavered and i have needed the support and activity of others to continue me, i recognize that, but this very morning i wonder if gaining bad a vigor for this living is capable within my weakened figure. the body has become everything to me as i see it now. it is my existence here on this earth. it allows me to function. it allows me to move. it allows for this mind. without the partnership my mind has no where to activate. its a complicated relationship i have discovered for sure. sometimes i wonder if the mind and the body work together at all or are they distant friends that get into trials and tribulations often. i had hoped for a joint activity, especially over the past year of my living. i want my brain and body to be friends. i want my brain and body to co-exist in a physical and productive harmony but how much control will i or anyone have over this? i can deal with aliments, pain, whatever really. i always have. i am okay with that. i am not placed upon this earth for complaint but rather an acceptance to the best ability i can. this is what i believe. we have to deal with it, that is living. we can't condone it as unfair, jail it, or become angered by it we must just continue. in hopes that my bones continue me i am wishing for a physical reformation in this living. whatever that means. i must gain strength i know that. i am just praying this is at all capable.-nicki



75. february fourteenth two thousand and twelve. 7:48 pm - 8:00 pm

powerful people have entered my life.

VIEW NICKI MULLER'S NEW VIDEO PIECE ON

http://vimeo.com/36798268 titled SKIN.

52. december twenty-forth two thousand and eleven. 4:23 pm

"thanks for the dance"


i had been thinking of ideas to gift my father this christmas. every time i begin to conjure up ideas nothing tangible seems to measure up to the power my father has in my life. i believe he is the reason why i have survived illness with such vigor, twice. i believe it is my father who has saved my life a variety of times. i recall laying in a bed at age 13 in the hospital wanting to give up. he convinced me not to then. early this summer, i lay in my bed ready to give up yet again. he convinced me otherwise, again, that the power of living was more powerful than any disease. that my will power and reasoning for this life would beat any corrupt cell. my father reassured me that i was capable for living. i often think of these moments when i am with my father. he has been giving me strength my entire life. by my side through it at. my perception of him has only grown stronger. my love for him has only solidified with all of these trials and tribulations. it is my father that reminds me every day how very blessed i am. how very lucky i am to live the life i do. without my father, my humbling mother, by intelligent sister, my loving boyfriend, i am no one. it is those around me that define me. their love has saved me.


my father and i hold hands and dance through the living room playfully. as the song ends we part as he says "thank you for the dance", no thank you dad. and thank you to everyone who has saved me this year. merry christmas.-nicki




51. december twenty-third two thousand and elven. 11:57 am


Dear Aunt Kathy & Uncle Don

(a gift of words to you)


I often look through that kaleidoscope you gave me when I was younger. In the morning I can imagine these new exotic spaces. And I want to meet you there. I want to fly into these realms as a powerful and mystical fairy. I transcend into a space somewhere between my consciousness and subconscious experience of living. I feel myself dancing purely by seeing. What it has meant for me to create in this world now lives in their bodies placed on a shelf. I revisit this being from time to time and I know she lives within me, just as she sits upon my shelf. I am able to become her. I am able to outstretch her wings. I am able to take flight. These wings you have given to me. I have flown amongst many unknown places. But I have been given the chance to rest my wings upon your return of such an object I had once gifted to you. You have given me strength by this single act of exchanging the powerful set of wings. So now I have realized it is time to remove her from the safe box in which she has stayed this year since you have bestowed her on to me. Preceding the incubation initiated by you, I now ask you to once again outstretch my wings upon your blessing within your space. I thank you for these healing powers, and the realization of a kaleidoscope-worthy world. And if our worlds are not as colorful as we may wish, I now know it always has the potential to return to magnificent places. As I return her to you I can feel myself becoming free once again. I can feel these wings expand. I live again with strength and beauty in the fairy we have exchanged. I will never forget your kindness and prescience in my life during these incubating times. I love you from the bottom of my heart to the tips of my outstretched wings as I fly like the fairy that has saved me.


With Great love and thanks,

Nicki



50 B. december nineteenth two thousand and eleven. 10:18 am

the continuum of living


i keep finding it incredibly challenging to find a quick moment to sit and type these reactions and responses reflecting on the life i live. but these are the times that are most exciting. to not stay still, or stuck upon ruling, is an amazing feeling. the other night after taking my chemotherapy pills i suffered intense pain on the left side of my head. it felt as if the pain was manifested in particles that traveled from my chin to my lip to my eye to my brain and back again. it was as if someone was piercing these parts of my head with a tool. the only conclusion i could come to as the reason for this excruciating pain was the pills i took ten minutes ago. i have been realizing that the chemotherapy is difficult on my body in different ways and increasingly as my monthly doses continue. so the night before last was it. it was time my body said it had enough of this regiment. the chemotherapy was included in my treatment plan to reassure the radiation work. sort of a just-in-case-anything-wants-to-grow-back-it-can't thing. fingers crossed that all worked out as planned. to face this idea of not popping the pills every night for one week, every month, simultaneously frees me and scares the hell out of me. it had become a clutch in a way to make sure something so deadly would never return. something so powerful as a cranial lesion would never re-appear. well i guess this fear has to do with living. no one ever knows what will truly come of their lives. it's a day by day venture i presume. and i need to be okay with that. i need to conquer the fear of being threatened by cancer. i need to eliminate any qualms and truly live and experience what i have been blessed with. when these spasms were occurring the other night in my eye particularly, i questioned blindness, although far-fetched from the actual experience, the pain reached those capacities of a visual expulsion. this idea of losing my sight was jarring. i then understood i must accept whatever comes to me. whatever i become. this is my body and i refuse to define it as a failing one. i cannot dwell on those moments on move forward. i can say that for anyone. we can make something of our experiences that does not have to reference the pain we have felt. we can all grow from pain. grow mentally, spiritually, whatever it may be for you, the darkness bears light if we let it.-nicki



50 A. december eighteen two thousand and eleven. 11:23 am

continuum


my birthday entangles with the day of the week, the tests we all must take, and the medication i swallow. i am now twenty one. of age they say. but i have been feeling old ever since i was thirteen. i was already listening to nora jones regularly for my MRI scans. the technicians always confused making such lived connections to such a young girl. i accepted this. i figured if people didn't quite understand me now, they would understand me later, when i was of age. i have always taken the world for its details. i have always seen living as a gift we are given. we have the power for choice making. and this is why i have chosen to view my life in the most positive way possible. we all do not have to face darkness to know it's powers. it is a wickedness. but these powers do not succeed passion. the faith to continue.-nicki



49. december thirteenth two thousand and eleven. 8:58 am

13 (post 49., 4+9=13. this wasn't planned)


this number has been ever present in my life ever since my thirteenth birthday when i was diagnosed with bone cancer. ever since then i declared this number incredibly important. a number worth paying attention to. for whatever reason this number has guided me in many situations. and many more times has just existed in many moments. thirteen screws are fixed within my right arm. thirteen stitches were taken out of my head this year. i stayed on the thirteenth floor after one of my surgeries this past summer. these are moments where i have entirely no control. ever since i was diagnosed with bone cancer i looked at that number as a silent support. that wherever this number lived, i would too, and it would i guess save me in these pieces i have passed through. most often this number is associated with a negative understanding. but for me its a greater aid of analysis in understanding the life i have been given. like an alarm clock, thirteen is s a reminder which wakes me up whenever it enters into my life. perhaps its a wake up call because it references my thirteenth year of life. which was difficult as all hell. but i am better for it. i have become who i am through that fight. and yet again this year i found myself fighting another battle. but it would be okay if thirteen kept appreciating. if my faith in a reason for living still existed i could beat yet another attack on my cells. well this is how i think. crazy or not i couldn't be the one to make that analysis. what i do know is that it is the faith in thirteen, the faith in living and perhaps luck that has kept me alive these past seven years. my birthday is tomorrow. wasn't so sure i would make it here before i regained a sense of true consciousness after the resection of the brain tumor. once all the drugs temporarily finished and allowed for me to heal, it was just me and the world which lie in my hands in a most peculiar way. 'what will you do now?' 'how will you see the world from this life?' in my mind the choice i had to make was clear. let this sickness conquer me or let me conquer it. i chose to fight. i would and will not give up, and why should i? no one need to sacrifice themselves to a diagnosis. i am very much alive. struggle will come to us all. but if we can believe in our place within the fight, i believe we can win.-nicki

48. december ninth two thousand and eleven. 7:35 am