It's been a very intense couple of weeks, and finally, I've finished teaching for the semester (and for the year!) so I'm taking my therapist's advice and taking a week off work. We've got the sentencing hearing coming up in early November, and writing up my victim impact statement and supporting the girls and El Prima while they write theirs is about the only 'must do' thing on my list for next week.
Apart from that, there will be catching up with friends, planting vegies, playing in the garden and knitting.
Lots of this:
Our front yard - with the sage and lavender in flower and broad beans going gangbusters
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The other thing hovering on the horizon is an exhibition opening on Friday night. One of the odd things that happened with the accident was that I suddenly became obsessed with taking photos... (I'm embarrassed to say this) of myself. At first it was to capture all the crazy bruising and gruesome wounds/ scars - I have a whole album of these ones - macabre but colourful - but then it became something I could do when I was alone in the hospital and trying to make sense of the senseless. (Here's a tip. You can't make sense of the senseless. All you can do is document it)
I needed to work out who this crazy lady in the mirror was and whether there was still any connection with the pre-accident me who felt like a very different person. And, given that a death had occurred within my body, was I really alive, or perhaps I'd missed something and I had actually died in the accident too? (I've seen The Sixth Sense, I know that it is important to check, even if you *think* you are alive.)
I'd had an obsession with Frida Kahlo as a sixteen-year-old, so I knew that she'd also survived a road accident and had lost babies (though not at the same time). So I took her as my 'recovery mentor' and made the decision that I was going to use art and writing to lever my way through. For a while, taking photos and writing was what I did. In hospital, I had to rely on carers to do the most basic things for me, and I no longer had my work to do or a family around me to organise and feed and transport to places. It meant that I had a strange trauma-led renaissance - as though the only way I could handle the onslaught of grief and trauma was by spilling it all from my head onto the page or into images.
One of the outcomes were these strange computer-animated self-portraits which blink in grief and disbelief.
They're being exhibited as part of a show put on by the Transport Accident Commission of artwork by survivors of road accident trauma. (It feels very odd to be a 'survivor'. I used to think that survival was a pretty low expectation to meet, but now I realise what a bloody effort it can be.)
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It is halloween / all hallows eve and I'm thinking about ghosts. Apparently I'm not the only one. In fact it was Angie and Jenni's very apt words that tapped my thinking on this. Come haunt me, baby daughter, I miss you.
(First roses of the season - I've become a big gardening nerd and can't help myself taking photos of plants and flowers.)
** EDITED TO ADD** Oops - for some reason the .gif file is huge. But I rather like the effect when the webpage cuts of half my face, so I think I'll leave it. Please let me know if it does terrible annoying things on your computer.
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