Virginia Neary Carrithers, founding president of Creativity Heals Foundation, is an artist living with Multiple Sclerosis since 1976. Her purpose was, and still is, to inspire and to give hope to those in need with the message of the healing power of creativity, our mother earth and horses. Click here to read more about Virginia.
The home of Creativity Heals Foundation is Estancia Trocoman which is an integral part of the Mother lands of Estancia Ranquilco www.ranquilco.com. We share the river, the land, horses, friends and families. We realize and are thankful for the privilege of having the responsibility of the guardianship of these great lands.
Sharing is an important part of the healing process no matter what the particular challenge. Our close ties with Estancia Ranquilco provide immediate access to other volunteers and always an interesting array of guests from all parts of the world. We are open and looking for other likeminded people to help in our mission of healing body, mind and spirit and in return, giving to others.
Estancia Trocoman differs from neighboring Ranquilco as we are not a traditional cattle estancia but rather more a quiet retreat for people who wish to rejuvenate, recharge and create with the support of Mother Earth. We are located in Argentina, deep in the heart of the vastness of the Andes Mountains bordering on Chile in Northern Patagonia.
We believe that horses, nature and art are universal languages which can be understood by all. They go deeper than words and have the ability to transform whatever challenges are before us.
This short film was put together from various clips filmed across the USA from 1978-1986, when raising money for the MS Society with the "Race against MS" which earned millions of dollars for research and patient care. For these efforts Virginia was given the Patient Achievement Award. The dinner alone earned $1.5 million dollars. Virginia retired in 1986, married Ashley Carrithers (for 10 years) and had daughter, Sky. Ginny now lives permanently with Sky in Patagonia.
Health update July 2011
This film captured me in the late 1970's and 1980's - from age 29 to 37. I am now 62, having lived with MS since 1976. At 27 was my first major paralysis putting me in bed 1 year and another 6 months to fully go into remission. Remission - a great trickster - how could this ever happen again? I became so well. It has happened nearly 9 more times, never as severe as the first as in the following times we have an idea of at least what it was and maybe - a medical label. yet there is no cure, nor a real answer to why and from where it comes - I have my expericed guesses - all of life is a great mystery...
I broke my back in 2009, as my balance is now so impaired - I no longer walk without a walker or someone on my side to hold on to. I no longer ride as much, but finally I can again. I type with 2 fingers and now must draw when I do, with more my left, both really. I have been blind in my right eye and they are in pain alot. I do not want to go blind which is a possibility I live with. Oh the list goes on and on and I still choose to focus on the positive. "Fake it til I make it", as it is more fun for all involved with me. An attitude of immense gratitude.
I cherish my only child, my sisters and my friends. My animal friends as well. I continue to love, live in the natural world and seek creative expression - let go of perfection - good thing ! Meditate endlessly and ready to face, sometimes reluctantly and sadly, whatever is to next confront me. Vamos a ver, we will see. To know Ginny's current life go to Ginny's Facebook page.
A turning point
(photo of me taking photos of this beautiful land, by Golde Wallingford)
A shift in the winds. Perhaps it is the smell of horses. The grounding ritual, if I may be so bold to give it that name, of shoveling manure. The smell of a horse’s neck and soft touch of the silky spot under the mane. Doesn’t matter where you are. That side of the equator or this one. The smell remains the same. It does not bring me back there. But lands me here more solidly. Funny such a simple thing like smell or shoveling can complete you.
Arrived. Adjusting. Settling in. A beautiful world. Beautiful people. Overwhelmed with love and light, tears and laughter, constant noise from early morning roosters to the late night barking of dogs, people buzz about like harmless flies, music, crickets, birds sounding like a pond full of frogs, the pounding of horses feet on packed gravel, and a language I am trying so hard to understand.
At times I am a window, looking out, quietly absorbing, soaking it all in. Let it shine.
And then the gift of rain. Smelling of a different earth. Patagonian soils. Old and rich and proud. Arid mountains, expanding views. Here at the casca, so safely tucked into the trees as a home in winds should be, shading arms enwrapping. Sweet, sweet rain. Cleanse me of the past and pour me into the future as I float on the languid waves of here and now, these rolling hills as big and wide and open as the sea.
Rain, the song as sweet as the smell. Fat, swollen, heavy drops falling by the bucket full, each one dancing to its own wild rhythm upon the metal roof, rolling together to the puddle on the sandy earth just before my dusty boots, kicked out before me as I sit on the stump of wood under the eve just outside my new front door.
How funny to finally check in on the computer and remember back “home” there would be snow. It would be cold. How funny to consider how little time I have looked back. My apologies to those I love. Change is both overwhelming and self absorbing.
If it were easier to post, I would share more with you. The trip, tips on travelling with a dog, beautiful new friends beginning with Barbara in Buenos Aires, and here our dear Ginny, like the sister so many ask if we are, and Golde and Jorge and little Milton who is happy to play with my dog, the horses, the air, the culture, the language, drinking mate and taking siestas (I have learned are the best time for finding a rare moment quiet enough to write). The hardest part is losing my solitude. That is hard indeed for the intentionally lonely soul.
I am not big on looking back, though I want to share stories and details and parts of this story that I think you might enjoy reading. Where does each day go, as we sit down for dinner at the hour I used to turn in to bed?
It will come in time. Patience is the greatest lesson here. At least the most obvious. There are others. There will be more. More important? I try not to judge, only to learn and do.
The internet may or may not be working, and the power outs regularly. A reminder of my adoration of living off grid, and gratitude that we can connect over the internet at all, in Colorado and here in Patagonia.
This is what MS can look like.
To watch Ginny up on the horse today. Exhilarating to see. And to imagine the joy, the cup overflowing within her, being in a place she belongs, comfortably, confidently. Seeing her energy rise. Her posture resume. One could say a queen upon her throne, but without the airs and pretention, and in fact, a most earthy act indeed. The Phoenix with wings which the horse has given to us. Beautiful indeed. An awakening. A slow and gentle healing, if for no longer than the time in a place this woman feels a home, her self. In the saddle. And yet, I feel it is longer lasting than that. There is more. She is brighter, more alive. I see an improvement already in her, and I wonder how far she will progress in this positive directions. I am pushing her. Doing less for her on one hand. Standing up to her (I say with a smile, for we are two strong women that at times will butt heads in the most graceful way, with power and words, as we women are known to do). Forcing her to find more strength within, for I know there is plenty. Challenging her creativity. Encouraging her to walk more. To focus more (how like changing winds she can be). To keep direction and keep it positive and get things done. There is so much to do. I am thinking she should draw. Where is that peach with the leaves? She wanted to draw that. Creativity heals, she says, and she knows.
Enough. For now I sleep. I cannot absorb it all. Sleep allows time and space to soak it in. So here I am, typing away as my sweetie breathes deep and warm in the early stages of the deepest of sleep beside me, and I prepare to close down this fantastic tool called computer, and return to the most primal state I can. Sleep, wrapped around my sweetie.
A piece of Paradise for Lease!
Paraiso para el alguiler!
4 miles of spectacular fly-fishing river
Con kilometros de rio salvaje de la Patagonia.
Internationally recognized artist Virginia Neary Carrithers is offering her artist retreat to lease in the majestic canyons of the Cordillera in Northern Patagonia, Argentina... more details
rustic yet elegant home is for lease short or long term...
El Desafio - The Challenge
San Martin de los Andes
El Desafio Polo Club
Photo by: Eddie Thornton
See Ginny's Horse Art and the Horses of Estancia Trocoman
Read about the wonderful work of the
Click here for the MS Society of Argentina
Photos by Golde Wallingford
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Ginny at home fireside
Making Torta Fritas
Ginny with daughter Sky
Sky Rock Cafe
Ginny and gaucho
Peace Pipe Ceremony with
Golde and Loretta
Click here to read what the volunteers say about life with Ginny in Argentina.