Reinventing Oneself

Recovery After a Brain Injury | Brain Injury Rehab | Recalculating Life After Rehab | Repurposing | Plan B | Leap of Faith | Tears in a Bottle | Spring

Brain Injury Rehab: 10 months and 10 days

Buoys Afloat
Buoys Afloat
Times when I feel lost and alone, no purpose on my horizon, I have the sense I am a buoy afloat. Waiting....I attempt to keep my faith as I am bounced around and find little comfort in seeing others do the same. I know I am not alone but I won't feel complete until I feel the tug that lets me know I have purpose. And when my purpose is fulfilled I know it will be my turn to go home. This 18x24 framed mosaic is made from real sea-lost buoys given to me by the harbormaster after the Patriots Day storm. They are mosaiced with venetian glass tiles, mirror tiles and refitted with original rope. The three buoys are afloat in a sea of stained glass and glass nuggets, then framed with an older wooden frame to enhance the old ocean feel.
Sacred Messenger
My friend and I periodically do sacred play for clarity with runes. Being open to the Devine I received 3 runes: the past: the universe is demanding that you grow. The present: there are no quick results, patience, persevere, you'll be successful. The future: do the experience for the experience not the goal and always be open to the Devine. When confusion clutters my brain, I am put on notice by the Eagle Spirit that guides me bringing the thought: all things are possible with its presence of being my sacred messenger. This 11x14 watercolor is done on yupo paper in the sacred and healing colors of purple and blue.
Sacred Messenger
It's Crazy Out There
It's Crazy Out There
An old beat up window discarded by the side of the road. Layer upon layer of dirty cracked paint, but I saw a diamond in the rough. One of my first investments in mosaic materials was 100 pounds of tiny glass shards sittting in a tupperware bucket. To me they were like see through gems in beautiful colors waiting for a new life. I could empathize. The pieces of my larger world had been shattered... My brain has made it difficult for me to see and to make sense of the world. And even though the paint on my body is layered and old, my family, friends and pets are the framework that not only hold me together but make me look good. It may look crazy out there to me, but given a frame to hold on to, I look pretty good.
Attitude
This watercolor of a wolf with attitude reminds us that attitude can be a tool to get us where we need to go but carries the warning that it comes with consequences. Utilizing attitude when you need an extra internal push can be helpful, but user be aware, you may alienate those around you if used too strongly. This piece is presently part of an exhibition that is currently not for sale.
Attitude
What If?
What If?
What makes the other side of the road so enticing to a daddy long legs that it would be willing to risk it all to cross? Is it the flower garden on the other side, the hope of a better life, more fun, more food, a new friend? Does the spider know he is in mortal danger or care? The spider can barely see danger from his vantage point. Isn't life like that, we are going about our business, getting to the other side, barely seeing when we suddenly become blindsided with a change so horrendous we often wonder in hindsight, did I have to be on that road? What if I had done something different? What if....
Confabulation...False Memories
It was brought to my attention by two people in the room that what I was relaying as a memory, never happened. Confabulation: the overlapping of real and not-real, false memories, having the feeling of falling off the balance beam in high school gym class. Or is that a false memory too? How will I know the difference? Does it mark the end of securely knowing what has really taken place? I am blessed to have been let in on this secret. Do you know if you confabulate?
Confabulation...False Memories
Running Away - Running Towards
Running Away - Running Towards
There is a fine line between running away and running towards and I have difficulty knowing the difference. It is easier to ride a galloping horse that is running to somewhere as opposed to riding a horse that is running in fear. A horse that runs in fear can spook more easily, throwing the rider off balance. The potential for getting hurt is far greater. The lesson: keep balanced, pay attention to which kind of running you are doing, and stay in forward motion. The running towards is a lot more fun than the final destination. Enjoy the journey.
Juno-Janus
The Goddess of secrets, mysteries, and hidden things. She simultaneously looks forward and backwards so she can base what she does upon what has been. It is important to learn from our mistakes and make corrections, then look forward to pursue new endeavors. And even though we often fall into the same hole, forgetting to look at the past, Juno-Janus offers us the chance again to reflect on what has been, what is, and what is to come. Thus, the new life begins now.
Juno-Janus
The Vast Universe
The Vast Universe
The universe of possibilities lay before us, expansive and unknown. Uncharted territory. Yet at the same time, it is full of color, light and dark, sparkles scattered randomly throughout. Ahead lay the possibilities of a new lifetime, a reinvention, a journey and an adventure. When looking out there I can feel a sense of fear and yet at the same time, anticipation.

Exhibit 2

These pieces of art and writings took place, more or less, during the 10 months and 10 days of my rehab experience. I entered New England Rehab. Outpatient program in December 2008 and graduated October 2009. Exhibit Two is the next leg of the personal journey of reinvention up until my graduation from New England Rehabilitation Hospital.

My brain injury happened in April 2006 and changed my life so dramatically that I didnít recognize who I was and where I could go. Two and a half years later, after being challenged physically, mentally and emotionally, I finally became well enough to enter the outpatient program at New England Rehabilitation Hospital in December 2008 and graduated 10 months and 10 days later. I am truly grateful for all that I have learned, new friendships that I have acquired and most of all the learning that showed me I am not alone in the symptoms that I live with and the journey that I am on.

The purpose of this exhibit is to share my experience so that you will share yours and to offer hope and provide inspiration to try new things. When my accident happened I was a 3rd grade teacher, flute player and avid horseback rider. I did not create art. All of the art I have done in these exhibits has been drawn from the desire to transform myself and try something new. This is how I can inspire, educate and this is how I move on.



Recovery After a Brain Injury | Brain Injury Rehab | Recalculating Life After Rehab | Repurposing | Plan B | Leap of Faith | Tears in a Bottle | Spring


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