Friday, February 3, 2012

Brain Injury Association of New York State Art Show

I mailed my two fiber collages to Albany today. I am hoping they will be in the art show. They are both 14" by 14." Machine and hand sewn, embroidered, drawn using layers of burlap, linen, gauze, brocade, tulle, lace, and organza. This is the statement I included:

I am 49 years old. In sixth grade during recess I ran down a playground slide, tripped, and hit my head on a cement turtle. I was knocked unconscious and diagnosed with a concussion. I was never very coordinated and New York City playgrounds were not very safe places to play in 1974.

Five years ago, I developed a severe headache, numbness down my left side, and some other strange cognitive symptoms. An MRI showed that I had a cavernous angioma (benign blood vessel tumor) in my brain stem that was leaking blood into my brain. I had to have brain surgery to remove the tumor.

Six months later, I tried to return to work as a middle school math teacher. It was a disaster. My long-term memory for the math is still good but I could not do my job. I was diagnosed with Cerebellar Cognitive Affective Syndrome. My brain injury changed my whole life and my identity. Everything feels like chaos, but my art makes sense.

They said I could write up to 500 words but I was never going to mail it unless I just wrote something fast. I think that is good enough. I hope it is good enough, anyway. Here is the flier so if you are in or near Albany between February 13th - 17th, you should stop by.

Here are the deets.

President's Day weekend marks the 5 year anniversary of the hemorrhage that led to the discovery of my tumor. It is a good time for a fresh start. I mourn the loss of Aly Version I, but I have a new operating system Aly Version II. I am still working out the bugs but there is no turning back now.

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