Dramatic Near-Death Experience Births A Celebrated Talent: DAN RHEMA, Startling Visionary Artist
In His New EBook “I Close My Eyes To See” Dan Rhema Creates a Journey That Is Part Travelogue, Part Art Book, Part Mystical Dream Journal, and Part Memoir. He’s Interviewed On Dare To Dream Radio With Debbi Dachinger.
Online PR News – 18-September-2012 –Today Dan Rhema is a visionary artist, writer and filmmaker, who lives in historic Old Louisville, Kentucky. Dan’s art has been exhibited nationally, in solo and group shows, for the past decade. He has done a tremendous amount of exhibitions, seminars, lectures, and a multitude of radio and television interviews. Dan’s children’s picture books include: The Day The Animals Lost Their True Colors, a 2002 IPPY Awards Finalist, One Tiny Twig and Bluegrass Breeze. Dan has recently released the powerful eBook called “I Close My Eyes To See,” which describes the near-death experience that altered his entire life. Dan has been called a startling visual artist. www.DanRhema.com
Dan Rhema, an international development worker, arrived at the hospital with his brain on fire. The three strains of dengue fever, he contracted in Mexico, had morphed into the deadly combination of meningoencephalitis—both his brain and his spinal fluid were infected. That evening, as the doctors fought to save his life, Dan left his body and began an unexpected journey to the other side.
One week later, he was released from the hospital, just not as the Dan Rhema who had entered. The near-death experience and the damage to his brain left him with gaping holes in his memory and a loss of his identity.
Dan spent most of the next three years asleep. Otherworldly visual images flowed out of his dreams. During his waking hours, a creative compulsion took over his life. He began to sculpt and paint the visions he encountered in the night.
Dan had two choices: to continue hoping that, one day, he would regain his lost memories and his old life, or to embrace the newfound creativity and follow it wherever it would lead. He chose to begin anew and follow the mystical healing journey of the dreams.
As told by Dan Rhema: “I’ve had moments in my global travels when I realized I was tiptoeing a fine line between adventure and tragedy, when the journey that I thought I was on suddenly veered off in an unexpected direction. One such moment occurred in the hours before my near-death experience when it became excruciatingly clear to me why dengue fever is also known as break-bone fever. As I lay in a hospital bed, with the Centers for Disease Control specialists struggling to save my life, I thought that those travel health advisory printouts my travel agent gave me, didn’t really prepare me for the experience of contracting three different types of dengue fever all at the same time. The bloody delirium, piercing headache, light sensitivity and pain— every touch felt as if I was being hit with a hammer—all went away as I left my body and took an unexpected journey to the other side. I did not return to this world as the same person. I came back a stranger in my own mind. The three strains of dengue fever had morphed into meningoencephalitis resulting in a personality-changing brain injury. Upon my release from the hospital, I embarked on my greatest adventure, the journey to find my way back to myself.
“When I Was a Ghost: My Journey Back From the Other Side is the story of two journeys. The first journey follows my work around the world as an international development worker in Kenya, Peru and Mexico. In northwest Kenya, I survived the third world trifecta of malaria, dysentery, and pneumonia. Amoebiasis did me in in Puno, Peru. Years later, the three strains of dengue fever I contracted in Santiago Tuxla, Mexico, finally put an end to my international work. During my recuperation, I found myself navigating an uncharted dream path through my unconscious mind. I began to chronicle these dream journeys by compulsively creating sculptures, paintings and masks and soon discovered that the art was leading me on an incredible journey—a journey toward healing. This second journey brought me back as far as the gateway to the last border where I stand with one foot in this world and one foot planted firmly on the other side.”
Part travelogue, part art book, part dream journal, part memoir—I Close My Eyes to See is the story of Dan Rhema’s extraordinary journey from near death to new life.
To learn more, listen to Debbi Dachinger as she interviews Dan Rhema on Dare to Dream radio, as it airs live or on podcast at: http://www.deborahdachinger.com/interview-archives. Debbi Dachinger’s Dare to Dream radio show is a syndicated, multi-award winning program, featured in news sources around the world. Dachinger is the bestselling author of the book Dare to Dream: This Life Counts.
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