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Sara Swink boat skull pottery ceramics
A Float Down the Alimentary Canal (maquette)
Ceramic
5" x 16" x 6"
2018

This piece is part of a series I'm working on about my experience with C-Diff, a very nasty intestinal infection. While sick in bed, I started sketching ideas for pieces, and this is one of them. The little person sits on the front of her little boat, accompanied by her (relatively) big dog, loyal companion. They pass through a canal of terrors and dead stuff and shit, haunted and threatened at every turn. But they are white, symbolically pure and spirit-like, and their boat is true, carrying them through.

In December 2017, I was sick with what I (and my doctor) assumed was the flu, which was widespread at the time. I got sicker and sicker, lost lots of weight very quickly, and became very weak. I finally went to the doctor, who discovered my blood pressure was dangerously low and sent me directly to the ER for fluids. The ER doctor asked if I had taken any antibiotics lately, and I had for some impending dental surgery, and she said this was the cause. Antibiotics the cause? Unbelievable! The tests came back and finally, I had a diagnosis. Ironically, to treat the infection I had to take a heavy duty antibiotic, which made me as sick as the C-Diff. It was an endurance test, for sure. But, lucky for me, it worked in one go-round. It doesn't always.

It's March now, and I feel good, though my hair is temporarily falling out as a result of the trauma to the body. Being that sick was rough, but it gave me time to reflect, assess things and make some changes. That's still going on. I'm happy and appreciative to get through it, and happy to be completing a few pieces I made about the process.