Community life allowed Anne’s creativity to blossom

Anne Finaughty

Anne Finaughty 1961 –

Before joining the Danthonia Bruderhof in Australia in 2009, Anne, who has complex physical disabilities, spent up to nineteen hours a day sleeping, and her waking hours in front of the television. Despite her welfare check she was always short of money, and hated her work in a shop for people with disabilities: “It was like a prison. Horrible. Dead boring.” Over time, she longed to put an end to it all. “I was literally waiting to die.”

Today, Anne is often up at five in the morning, and runs a card- and sign-making business that she calls “Joy Is Love.” She has produced hundreds of colorful greeting cards, door signs, and wheelchair tags. Some she sells, but most she gives away. Her goal? “To share the happiness I’ve found by cheering up and encouraging others.” 

Through allowing her creative side to blossom, Anne has found the freedom to be herself, and affirmation in sharing her gifts with others: “Painting has helped me by relaxing me and getting me out of myself. I still have my ups and downs, but the miracle is that through my artwork, I can always find joy. It might be hidden somewhere down inside me, but it always comes out eventually.” 

Asked if she’s still waiting to die, she scoffs. “I gave that up, thank you very much. I do not want to die!”

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