Women’s health: “it’s a spiral, not a bulls-eye.”

Posted by on Jun 6, 2011 in Inspiration, women's health | 3 comments

“A spiral is the path; it is the journey.  I walk it with you, and do not do it to you.  It represents life.  It represents women…”

My friend and colleague Regina Holliday wrote these words about a jacket that she has painted on my behalf, a jacket that represents women’s struggles to overcome the restrictions that challenge their right to adequate healthcare and a jacket that I will be honoured and privileged to wear this coming Tuesday during The Walking Gallery. She has depicted this struggle within the framework of a triskelion symbol, three interlocked spirals that is used to depict three reproductive cycles in a woman’s life  (maiden, mother, crone). In the Celtic belief system, the three-legged triskelion represents:

  • personal growth
  • human development
  • spiritual expansion

as well as the phases of the moon, i.e. waxing, waning and full. I relate to this concept mostly because of its fluidity and the creative way in which Regina has characterized a woman’s struggle throughout her lifetime.

The jacket that I will wear is dedicated to all of my readers and to women everywhere who are under attack strictly because of their gender and their ability to reproduce. It seems sort of ridiculous doesn’t it? And yet, as I wrote last year in Disruptive Women in Healthcare, the other side of the aisle is not a political party but rather, women, gender bias and reproductive rights biases.

If you are local, I hope that you will come out and support the event (there are free tickets available), a wake up call that the patient struggle is very real and affects all of us. Regina describes this as follows:

“…jackets. They bring the “patient” into the room and onto the panel, when no patient was invited to attend.  They remind me of the encaustic mummy paintings from 1st century CE found in Egypt.  These amazingly real and poignant faces stare out above dried sinew, wrappings and bone. Their eyes sear our souls and remind us, I was once one of you who lived and played, who laughed and loved before I met this fate.  They transcend the dust and the darkness of the ages, and make the lives lost long ago so very real.  The jackets worn by these brave few do the same for data, and pie charts and graphs.
When you sit in an audience listening to a power point presentation, and the faces on these jackets stare back at you; it changes things.  It adds an edgy sense reality to dry recitation of data.  It wakes you up.”

If you can’t make it, I do hope that you’ll start paying attention to Regina because she is a patient advocate of the first degree and her generosity of spirit and pureness of heart is virtually unsurpassed. Trust me; she is someone you want fighting for you when the healthcare chips are down.

Thank you Regina…from my heart. I can’t wait to represent!


  1. 6-6-2011

    Love the triskelion, Liz. I never knew before what it represents.

    • 6-6-2011

      Neither did I Elaine!

  2. 6-4-2012

    So proud!

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