Lyme Disease battle inspires poetry, art book
Local artist Anisticia Chantler-Lang got a bug bite in 2008 that would change her life forever.
She originally thought she had bruised her leg on gym equipment during a workout.
After six years of medical misdiagnoses, her health team discovered she had contracted Lyme disease.
Chantler-Lang said that two major catalysts of her pushing on during the horror of living with Lyme disease were her art and Lake Tahoe.
Through her health battle, Chantler-Lang chose to be positive, to see the beauty in every situation and transform her thoughts and feelings into poetry and mixed media art.
“I made this art and poetry book, and the reason it was so meaningful for me to get it done is because most of these poems were written in the midst of deep darkness, while I thought I was dying. They were written in the midst of my struggle to survive with Lyme disease,” she said.
The art and poetry book is titled “Expressions of Thy Self”.
Its pages are filled with thoughtful, encouraging messages, photographs of Lake Tahoe scenery and original works of art.
“I just want to try and bring beauty, hope, inspiration and love — positive vibration feelings. Regardless of what someone is going through, I can totally relate to that and understand that,” Chantler-Lang said.
“Here there’s such a deep sense of serenity. The whole Tahoe area is such a majestic and magical distinguished beauty, it’s not a beauty you see all over. No matter where you go here you can see a picture that nature has painted and it’s timeless and limitless, and it’s like heaven,” she added.
Her husband, Greg Lang, features photography in the book and says nature is their biggest inspiration.
“All creation sings. Tahoe is the essence of beauty in nature. Nature to me is not accidental and continues in such a harmonious order it is as if we are watching a symphony performing the greatest works by the ultimate composer and conductor, including angelic choirs and soloists. Everywhere you look around Lake Tahoe, beauty can be found and to highlight that beauty is one of my greatest passions,” he said.
The pair offer two copies of the book to the public at Java Hut in Kings Beach and Coffeebar Bakery in Truckee. It’s their way of giving people a small piece of kindness and encouragement. “The idea is that if you need a little perk through the day, or if you’re having a really devastating journey, the intent is to bring those positive feelings and say, ‘I have been to hell and back, I know what it’s like … never ever, ever give up. You have value, you have more strength than you think you have and you are not alone.’ Focus on that, and you can do it,” Anisticia Chantler-Lang said.
Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.