Before and After: Visual Proof

"Before"--a composition with cuts that now seem too intricate to achieve.

Once I fully realized–and it took a while before I did–how much I had lost after my brain surgery, holding on to the things I still had a grasp on became almost an obsession.

I had lost the ability to keep time to music, to dance, to run, to balance. I could no longer sing (even with the radio), and for almost a year after my surgery, I couldn’t drive a car. Those things were gone forever; after all, it was only after months of intense therapy that I could walk, feed myself, and hold a pen to write. I felt as if I was no longer myself.

So art became important because it was one of the few things from my life “before” that I could still enjoy “after”–it was a part of me that I could hold onto. At least, I hoped I could. I remember crying for at least an hour the first time I tried to use a pair of scissors with my occupational therapist. (What a disaster that was! I would have gotten a neater edge just by tearing the paper.)

It took a long time before I would create a journal page or collage that I wasn’t too embarrassed to show others. When I finally did, it was my way of saying, ” See, some part of the old me is still alive. Here–look at this–I have proof.”

An "after" entry in my journal. As I take a step in a new direction, I can't help but glance back.

5 thoughts on “Before and After: Visual Proof

  1. I really like your blog. I enjoy both your ‘before’ and ‘after’ work:))
    The work you are doing now is fantastic! I look forward to seeing more!

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