When people ask me “Why an apple as a symbol for AS Awareness?” my immediate thought is:
Oh the Glorious Apple!
All these gifts from just one seed,
The apple, soul and body feed,
Plant a seed and time will show,
That from one seed a tree will grow.
Oh the glorious apples. - Bill Harley’s Johnny Appleseed Song
Yeah, that isn’t really an answer so I thought I’d share with you some of my answers to “why apples?”
1. When I decided to use art to help raise awareness – I needed something I could create over and over again in many forms. Not only did this mean a shape that could be transformed but one that is extremely difficult to dislike. Who doesn’t like the glorious apple? I’ve so far created simple artistic representations in multiple media, some really fun pop culture apples like R2-D2, Super Apple, and Mr. Apple Head, and I’ve wrapped the apple in zebra, had it get an i.v. infusion, thrown it out as a baseball on the first night of the World Series – who knows what might be next!
2. Apples have anti-inflammatory properties and have recently been shown to be such amazing super foods that one a day can extend lifespan by up to 10%. There are all sorts of great benefits of the glorious apple!
3. The adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a powerful statement for people living with chronic illness. If it just took eating an apple a day to be well then we would all happily eat our favorite roughage and get on with our lives. Since eating your daily apple isn’t enough to make AS disappear – I thought that maybe if I “fed” or produced an image of an apple each day it might provide hope that one day saying “I have Spondylitis” will be as understood as “I have Cancer.” A tall order but that is what I am passionate about and what I work for everyday!
The Feeding Edge is where I can talk about what a life with spondylitis means and make it accessible to people who don’t have AS. I feel that for us to spread the word, we have to find a way to reach outside our community. Hopefully my endeavor, my journey to create 365 daily apples will interest people from all walks of life and maybe, just maybe, be interesting and challenging enough of a personal crusade that I can get some press. Awareness starts with stories and I am working on building a story. I hope you’ll all join me in being a part of this campaign. If you like the idea – talk with people about what I’m doing. Send my link to friends and family and join my Facebook page or better yet – get your Daily Apple in your email each morning! Share the images, post them on Facebook – these apples belong to you!
People don’t understand what we are dealing with, but perhaps they might like seeing each new daily apple creation and learn something about Spondylitis in the process.
Oh The Glorious Apple – now you know!
Day 178 was created in pastels.