"They who dive in the sea of affliction bring up rare pearls." - Charles Spurgeon.
Joyclam is a strand of rare pearls, strung together on the thread of my life, dug from the seas of affliction.
Natural pearls are formed when a bivalved mollusk, like a clam, launches a defense mechanism against a foreign substance. It envelops the irritant with layers of nacre, creating a beautiful pearl from what was once a dangerous invader.
Like a clam, my days are infiltrated with misfortunes and irritants. Over time, Love - call it God, Grace, Spirit, Source, or Truth - envelops my circumstances, and layers of experience and refinement turn them into pearls of joy, hope, and faith.
The name comes from an actual typo that appeared in a church bulletin when I was a baby. It became an occasional nickname growing up, and eventually turned into a fitting artistic identity.
“How could you reach the pearl by only looking at the sea? If you seek the pearl, be a diver..." -Rumi
In 2015, after repatriating to the US from Europe, I began weaning off of pharmaceutical antidepressants after 16 years of SNRI/SSRI use for "hereditary chemical imbalance," with severe discontinuation / withdrawal effects. In 2016, I found myself infected with Lyme disease, Babesia, and Bartonella from an undetected tick bite. These infections were slow to respond to treatment, leaving me with debilitating symptoms, reduced physical and mental capacity, and bringing my life to a screeching halt. After the failure of Western medicine and worsening anxiety and panic, I dove into the sea of self-healing, Chinese Medicine, and nutrition. By 2019 I realized not only did chronic illness come with PTSD, but the original "clinical depression" and chronic fatigue were themselves manifestations of C-PTSD, and 2020 brought the challenge of learning to heal trauma and reinvent myself during a pandemic. Thankfully this mess also brought frequent encounters with grace, a deeper (and deconstructed) relationship with God, and a whole new relationship with my Self. I am returning to my roots of art and music, letting it flow through pain and joy, fear and hope, rather than be blocked by it. Always a work in progress.
My name is Jessica. I have a B.A. in Art and Art History, and a "Me-hD" in natural healing. American born and raised, I spent several years in Romania and Hungary before getting parked in the US for long-term maintenance of chronic illness, when Joyclam Studio was born. Now in remission, I am a dual resident of Baltimore and Budapest, with my Transylvanian husband (who claims he's not a vampire but I have my suspicions). I love Jesus, art, music, world cultures, and have a big crush on cognitive neuroscience.
This website is my pearl, my art, and my offering, fully designed, photographed, written, and maintained by yours truly.