Northern VA (NOVA)
CFS/ME, FMS, OI, Long Covid &
Gratitude Support Group

The Art Form for Healing

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CFSupport's Art Gallery
Expression, Education, Advocacy

About and/or by People With
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS / CFIDS / M.E.)
Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FM / FMS)
MVPS/D and Similar Syndromes

Julie's Heart Tree for Valentine's Day




Baby shoots breaking through the warm earth,
Tiny blades of grass forming a lush carpet,
Newly hatched birds awaiting each meal,
Little buds sprouting on naked branches --
All feel morning dew and afternoon sun
And evening breeze for the first time.

It is the season of Hope.
For it flowers and trees and butterflies
Can grow and change, why can't we?
Resolutions are made during winter's night,
Yet we are inspired to action when the
Flush of Spring reminds us of
Life's miraculous possibilities.

This time, we will participate.
We will become a tiny bud, a blade of grass,
A baby bird --
And we will experience our rebirth
As if for the first time.

                      Tonette Hartmann
                      (c) 2002


See also, Tonette's
LIFE IS SHORT | Autobiography as Haiku
Published in the May 27, 2001
Washington Post

Nina's Healing Art Forum of Photos

"Female Energy Formerly Blocked,
Now Entering the World Again"

                                                  Nina, August 14, 2006                            
Female Energy Unblocked Art

Sending Big Love Nina's Hippy Foot Nina's Art: "Liar, liar, pants on fire."
Huge "Bolts" of Love

From my heart to my
beloved, departed cat.  
December 4, 2006
Hippy Foot
Strength & Hope
Courage & Faith
Dreams & Love

November 4, 2004
Liar, Liar,
Pants on Fire

Painted after catching
a self-deception.
November 3, 2005

Ping Pong Head
Ping Pong Head
How I Feel Right Now!
December 4, 2006
Nina's Old Hands
Old Hands
have lived a long time &
contain much wisdom
February 5, 2007

Nina's Terror Cancer terror

The worst form of cancer.

But only I lose
all my hair.

February 2007

Wendy Albrecht's Photography

Bloomin' Lilpads, Cuernavaca, Mexica Blushing Yellow Rose, Petaluma, CA
Bloomin' Lilpads
Cuernavaca, Mexica
Blushing Yellow Rose
Petaluma, CA

Lilies Abound Beyond, Little Washington, VA Palms In Paradise, LaSagesse Beach, Grenada
Lilies Abound Beyond
Little Washington, VA
Palms In Paradise
LaSagesse Beach, Grenada

Metal Wave, Seattle, WA Orange Jellies! Monterey, CA
Metal Wave
Seattle, WA
Orange Jellies!
Monterey, CA

Profile of Artist Wendy Albrecht, The Petaluma Argus-Courier, 10-18-06

The Experiential Art of Wendy April Albrecht: Home Page


Heart Quilts by Eileen
Empowering Heart Rhythm Quilt
Empowering Heart Rhythm
The black and white fabric
includes piano keys,
the music staff with G clef.

Healing Energy of Love Quilt

Healing Energy of Love
December 2006

Sung to the tune of Frere Jacques, aka "I am Thumbkin"

I am healing,
I am healing,
Every day in
Every way
Body, mind and Spirit,
Body, mind and Spirit,
Thank you, God.
Thank you, God.

Or these words for last verse:

I am grateful,
I am grateful.

I am blessed,
I am blessed.

Eileen Melia 8/5/07

Renee's Poems

A Time of Sanity

Stress - Adrenaline Party
We're all invited
Meditation, Relaxation techniques
Need more than a measly two weeks

Too loud, too bright, too fast
Take me away
To a simpler time
When we actually used our minds

Pantomime, dancing, charades
Playing pirates at sea
or "Red Light, Green Light, 1, 2, 3"
Our imaginations ran free

Time travel back
Is where I need to be
Reality or fantasy
Away from technology

Computer Mind control
Replacing our creative soul
We must fit in, rather than "blend"
Is the message we send

Take a brilliant child today
Who sees the world in a different way
Of course! - it must be ADD
Feed him Ritalin - our 20th Century candy

Rob his individuality and spirit
Trade his limitless imagination
For a standardized test score
Is at our school systems core

Yes take me away
Away from toxic crazies
Overshedule my life
With a hefty dose of the lazy's

I want to live, feel and soar
Not yearn for something more
Children & Adults - one expectation shared
To grow and change with love and care

Respecting our inner timelines
Not bound by society's confines
To find strength, inspiration, and completeness
In our own imperfections and uniqueness

Learning comfort in silence
Without the clutter and noise
Listening to our soul inside
Happiness is ours to derive

Breathing in hope
Breathing in joy
Embracing what life could be
In a time of Sanity.

©Reneebird '06

Wildflowers and Daisywishes

(Dedicated to the young victims of the world)

Growing up before your time
You had to, you had no choice
A meadow of wildflowers and daisywishes
Plowed down by evil depths of darkness....

Now still miraculously here, like a perennial --
Surviving and growing subtle layers year by year
That make one see in a slightly different light.

Appreciating what's less visible to others
As time is so precious, and so is love
Always questioning, vulnerable and scared
             --but with inner core strength.

No use getting down all the time --
'Cause then evil wins, he reigns -- cause
            he's gotten you just where he wants you....

You cannot let that happen
Gather strength in kind others
Shine with a new perspective --
Develop other talents within you --
             no matter how small you think they are.

And fight, and smile and cry and then
                        gather strength....
              And fight and cry and smile again!....

              Let others in.
              Live and Love.
              Strive for what's real - and important to
              your soul

Don't forget the Wildflowers and Daisywishes....

©Reneebird '93

Valerie's Poems

Written after a bout with breast cancer... but before CFIDS. This poem is the only piece of writing she have ever changed after having it published. She told us on an EGG call that the CFIDS is what taught her the last verse...

Reprinted with Permission. From the book, A Time for Healing.

I never understood before.
How special is each hour
How smallest moments of my day
Are endless in their power
To fill my life with beauty, peace,
With joy in simple things
I never understood before
How much each minute brings.
I never understood before
The love surrounding me.
Its depth, its strength, its healing force,
Its gift completely free,
Its power throughout the darkest times
To penetrate despair
I never understood before
How much most people care.
I never understood before
The beauty of this world
How smallest petals of each plant
Are miracles unfurled.
How birds can fill the skies with song
How webs are touched by dew.
I never understood before
This world I thought I knew.
I never understood before
The strength within my soul,
How it could help my anxious mind
Develop new control,
How it could calm my troubled nights
And make all things more clear,
I never understood before
The other side of fear.
Valerie wrote us: "Whenever I am personally requested for a book, I now hand-write on the opposite page, the verse that I have learned since getting CFIDS."
I never understood before
The Blessing of God’s Grace,
How I would find it mirrored
In a caring stranger’s face.
How I, in humble circumstance,
Would need such kind concern,
I never understood before
How much I’d yet to learn!

Sand Art...
"Attitude compresses Gratitude."

Aug 2007

a softer retake of my first thought
"attitude blocks gratitude"



Strength of Character, quiet resolve,
Whispers of patience, love conquers all
Here in the moment your light shining bright
Crusading our cause, healing the blight.

This have I learned as you nurtured with care
Your wisdom and mercy, erased subtle fear.
For what is life without love of the soul
Connecting and binding that inner soft glow.
Where there's a heartbeat, there's hope on ahead
History's behind you, Success lies ahead.

Sandy, September 3, 2008

My message of gratitude for the small army of folks who herald not only our cause, but the nurturing of individuals who are likewise affected by these illnesses.


Along the Way

Healing comes not from knowledge or books

But from really good people filling our nooks

Take aim with snapshots, your frail, broken life

Reframe those moments, rekindle the light

Let stuff go, persue life anew

Reach the stars reserved for you.

No man's an island I once heard it said

Though I've tried to hide my obvious dread

While engulfed by this illness a powerful wave

Pounding the shores of my body enslaved.

But time be our friend with patience and cheer

Ups and downs, the future draws near

Hope in the night, brighten the way

Change ushered in, one day, by one day.


Thanksgiving comes but once a year,
A National day observed.
But Thankfulness shines everyday
Our life is thus preserved.

For those who minister mightily
To bless the less of fortune
Are Giants walking through our hearts
Whose gifts uplift within.



Healing comes not by knowledge or books
But from mighty fine people filling our nooks.
Take gentle snapshots of your broken life
Reframe those moments, rekindle the light.
Let it go, pursue life anew,
Reach the Stars, Reserved just for You.

Sept 2007


Our courage is restored by sharing our sentiments with each other and letting our inner lights reflect a path within our souls.  Thank you for creating this forum for us to learn and grow.



I think that not to thank
Leaves a void on our inner part,
The power of a spoken word
Can cure an ailing heart.


Lost Dreams

A body has component parts
To make it whole and sure
Two arms, two legs, two eyes, two lips,
One Heart to keep it pure.

And if a one of these be lost,
Our life would change for sure
Our loss of dreams a tradgedy,
This loss a death within.

The loss of Health, our freedoms die
The world a small cacoon.
Took for granted simple things,
Faded memory like the dew.

Your spirit now an amputee
Once soared with fresh resolve,
Now reduced to simple breaths
With want to be involved.

Through tears you view the world pass by
With it's prosperity,
While you stand by in Dormant space,


See the Light

Suddenly, I pause and see
The problem is, I'm stuck on me.
Focus on our neighbor's woes,
You just might feel a brighter glow!


Fibro Fog

Did you ever miss a deadline,
That meant so much to you,
Then just take pause, to learn the cause
It might be CFIDS blues.

CFIDS has a sister,
Oft told in one same breath,
Her name is Fibromyalgia,
Together they're quite a mess.

Now science is taking notice,
About time I'll tell you this
That I've been sick for 40 years
Ignored with negative tests,

And now that life's behind me,
The stormy, chopy seas,
My hope's that those behind me
Will find answers and relief.


Vase and Flowers


The Castle
The castle walls are strong and thick
Roughly hewn from well worn brick

In the mist it does wait
For some brave knight to seal its fate

Upon a cliff, above the sea
It seems to wait just for me

The tide does rise, ebb and flow
Evoking memories from long ago

A damsel gazes from high above
Seemingly searching for her lost love

Although the silence still persists
Its not a dream; it exists.

        Terri R. Marshall
        (CFS, MCS & Lyme Disease)

Toni's Artful Writing

Meant To Be

Yes, it is too much, all this pain, illness, fatigue, unbearable limitations.
Yet, here you are, dealing with it all, all of it.
Bringing your good mind and insight to bear, to bear it, to bare it.

Considering there is nothing to be done about the past except remember,
contemplate any lessons, it helps me to reflect what was meant to be.

If it has already happened,
what other attitude is helpful to consider
other than it was meant to be?

Yes, contemplate the lessons of past experiences.

But more than the difficult experiences may be mined for lessons.
Everything has lessons, not just the difficult or painful,
but good stuff like free-flowing clean water,
easily accessible good food,
the touch of a loved one,
the warm sun.

All metaphors,
in my philosophy,
for heaven on the way to enlightenment. 

The lessons are for here, earth, as well as heaven, that is, heaven on earth, even in pain.

Great visions often happen to people in dire pain.
Visions are not just for the crazy, but for life, for beauty, for hope, for inspiration.

If you missed paying the bill and the electric was cut off,
well, then, obviously,
since it has happened, it was meant to be.

Reminds me, I think I have time to stall my electric company.



Good, Too Much, Plenty

You do plenty. 
Breathing is plenty. 
Seeing is plenty. 
Hearing is enough. 
Touching is more than enough. 

Feeling is too much. 
Smelling is too much. 
Loving is plenty. 
Wanting is plenty. 
Thinking is enough. 
Knowing is more than enough. 
Wondering is more than enough. 

Eating is good. 
Drinking is good. 
Intake is good. 
In-taking is more than enough. 

Crying is good. 
Sadness is good. 
Mad is good. 
Fear is too much. 

Comfort is much. 
Love is much. 
Care is much. 
Glad is plenty.

It's all good.

And it's Plenty Enough.

Toni Marshall

Trish's Treasure

baby steps
I still walk baby steps
and the fatigue still sets in
but I still keep grasping for straws
trying to make sure that I don't fall
keep a happy face when it's not true
people don't like you
when pain and fatigue set in
they treat you like
you committed sin

sometimes I feel
like I'm paying from some long, some lost life
and I'm paying for my sins
pain and fatigue seem to win
even baby steps are hard
and people don't regard
that maybe they can go there to
be imprisoned
to make it through
the other side of life
trying to fly a kite
catch the golden ring
have a song to sing
just about everything

I dare to try
like trying to fly
on broken wings
I try fall again
why am I akin
to such misery
make me free
give me joy
there must be some wonderful thing in store
                                              what for
if life is just the same
and I must sustain
................of life
and living
it's hard to do it
it's hard to feel it
when I'm trapped in this body
I want to be somebody
I want to count in this world
I want to walk not crawl
............. and never fall
so I won't have to pick myself up
and crawl again
baby steps are all I asked for
just to just put 1 foot in front of the other
I still want more

I don't know what life has in store
................................ for me
.................................i see
happiness and misery
all in the same way
hard to separate
every day
give me baby steps
I will be satisfied
at least I can try
to be happy

© trish hargis, 2008

i exist

you cant see air
...............but it exists
you cant see my pain
...............but it exists
the wind is not tangible
...............but it exists
my mind and my body
are sometimes tangled up
..................but it exists
the sundowns
come and go
as the sunsets also
the stars may shine in the night
embracing us it seems in their abundance
or we can't find
a single star exists
and so
allow me to exist
in my own way
in my own time
be patient with me
and i, you...........
so even with my pain
i can catch up with you
i exist
i exist.............
© trish hargis, 2008

Trish passed March 2011. To read more about her journey, her life, to read more poems, see

Louann's Lovely Art

Day of The Dead, An Artpiece in Acrylics.

"Dia de Los Muertos"
See more by Louann at

Kathi's Canvas - A Garden Oasis

Entranceway photo

Pathways photoFlowers & Bird Statue photo
Angel in the Garden photoGrass Path photo

Elly's Poems for Healing

A womb, a tomb
communion feels doomed
Ideas lie dead
in periods of dread

Still puzzled
being muzzled
Will it break free
will it break me

Clumpy bled blood
lumpy red mud
Disrupted flow
way down below

Look, I don't see
Feel, its the fee
Know, still nothing
too weary for cussing

Empty yet full
awake yet still
Still seeking next piece
to bring forth her peace

Honor each other
inner father and mother
through the son's slaughter
we're raising the daughter

She balancing he
he crossing she
weighting and waiting
k(no)w more debating

Aha's out of sync
in our chakras of pink
hearing same feeds
different swallowing speeds

First is the A
Finding the way
Second is B
SeeConned has "to Be"

After the shock
rejoining the flock
Keep moving and bending
Still ever role blending
Creativity of two is heaven unending


Brain under Stress, Healing in Mind

This is your brain.
This is your brain apart.
This is your brain apart from the heart.
This is your brain apart from the heart of the matter.
This is your brain apart from the heart of the matter, in the matter.
This is your brain apart from the heart of the matter, in the matter of health.

This is your mind.
This is your mind a part.
This is your mind a part of the heart.
This is your mind a part of the heart and body.
This is your mind a part of the heart and body, the matter of the soul.
This is your mind a part of the heart and body, the matter of the soul, for the healing of matter.

A nested meditation by Elly 9-5-07

Cynthia's Art

“The Mermaid - As I See” by Cynthia D Ray, Artist, April 1998, (PDF)

Got art?
Send it in.... it might end up in this space...

The Northern VA CFS/FMS Support Group & CFSupport are informal support groups and website led by volunteers. Group leaders Elly and Toni have the experience of chronic illness and are not medical, counseling, or legal professionals. Please seek out qualified physicians and other Practitioners for
diagnosis,  treatment, and legal advice. Thank you.

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Updated April 7, 2021