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It's time to find.... 


Chapter One: Dr. Marlena Jbara, MD


There's a school in my hometown, sits atop the world, overlooks a skyline, a bridge, and in my imaginings . . .  the entire world. I would pause there before class, and my eyes would imbibe the array of pastel pinks and oranges that smeared the darkness of the day.  COVID, dissension, inequity, injustice, aggression, morbidity, all that stress, the invisible weights of a day where everybody needed everything now. My juggling act wasn't up to snuff, and I was exhausted and frustrated with everything and  I fought myself to be here. I had found myself in the middle of a struggle of denying my burnout,  so had enrolled in a sculpture class and here I was.  My life needed something and as much as I so resented the “go take an art class advice,  that always left me feeling that this is all a “Me” issue, I was here.  Through my training and coaching, I knew all that lacked integrity and this endeavor to create was something that called out to me.  So on Thursdays,  I walked across the campus and into the magic of the studio and that is how I found one of my Grooves.


Sculpting, hand-building, forming, creating all called on parts of my brain that were soothing all of the other parts - I call it my groove and you know when you are there, it’s easy, it’s fun, it’s exploratory, it’s difficult and it’s all for you.  It was a much-needed indulgence into my full expression, in the creation of my own groove.  I found myself thinking back on my day, and my days are unique in that doctors send me pictures of their patient’s foot ulcers, this raw uncut footage of our neverending battle to heal our wounds is my part of the job I do as a Radiologist.  Then I examine an MRI and I diagnose how deep the infection might go and if there is an abscess to drain or something for the surgeon to do.  


Marlena Jbara, Too Many Toes, Ant

Foot sculpture using Coil Clay Molding technique on White clay. Over and  underglaze technique utilized to  highlight wounds and 1st through 5th  toe amputations, 3 views

As I took my piece of clay off the block, the choices already begin, starting with what kind of clay do I choose? The warmth of earthenware or cold stoneware each with its own properties and feel, some smooth, some rigid, and inflexible.  And how wet or malleable or old or used, was it scraps or a fresh kneaded block.  As a radiologist, the details fascinate me, and it’s all of this that I love to learn and experience.  And there was one foot that came out at first, and I laughed and said I’ll make it a planter.  Not knowing at first what to do with what I created.  But that wasn't enough, so I started a deeper dive, looking at the pictures, studying the ulcers, imagining the toes, the amputation types, and the one with the initial one toe loss to the devastating transmetatarsal types. . . for those not in the field its kind of different but its what I do, the patients I treat and it has become something I really want to share about.  


Marlena Jbara, Triangle Toes, AP

Foot sculpture using Slab Clay Molding technique on red clay. Over and underglaze technique utilized to highlight the triangular shape of forefoot following 2nd and 3rd toe amputations,  3 views.

Self-care is a choice! It isn't a place or person or thing but a journey, with no menu or guide. It has many offerings, it’s not just one idea and it belongs to everyone. It’s not that everyone has the same ideas, or that there's even the equal ability to act on a choice ( think of our sickest and most oppressed) but it’s a choice somewhere on some level, and it all begins with core integrity. Whether it be the individual, a group, a community, a nation, a group of nations, or our globe.  The choices begin with one and this Woman is dedicated to getting in her Groove.

Who wants to get Groovy with us? 


Got an artistic way to find your Groove? 

We at GrooveMD want to highlight your work. 

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