"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, wrought with its own afflictions, as we all are.
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 around what was once a dangerous invader.
Like a clam, our days are infiltrated with misfortunes and irritants. Over time, Love - call it God, Grace, Spirit, Source, or Truth - envelops our circumstances, and layers of experience and refinement turn them into pearls of joy, faith, hope, and love.
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, 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. 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 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. Though I prefer globe-trotting, I'm currently parked in the U.S. for long-term maintenance. I spent several years in Hungary and Romania with my Transylvanian husband (who claims he's not a vampire but I have my suspicions). I love Jesus, art, travel, music, and have a big crush on cognitive neuroscience and Classical Chinese Medicine.
This website is my pearl, my art, and my offering.