“Face to Face with Reality Shattered”
- From the first book of pastels self portrait
This is the image that shattered the strange reality that was (and is) now my life. A reality of drifting between here and there, in a mist, black and white and sometimes grey and being lost and apart from everything around me.
It made me feel and to begin to be a tiny bit aware what had happened to me. Not the actual details of the accident or the injuries but the horror within of what was left. I saw this in the mirror that day. I had drawn my face twice in previous days but I had only seen a face – the façade and also that I seemed to be looking inside and not seeing anything on the outside. What I drew today I could not escape. I was shaken and afraid as I drew the black lines of the impact, the trauma and the tragedy. And as I drew the glass pierced my face I felt my skin, muscles, and brain scream and I tried in vain to escape the pain. Because it did come. The memory that had been embedded deep, hidden within the cells was dredged up and spewed forth and my body remembered, not my brain, not my conscious understanding of the accident but my body remembered in the most shocking detail. And I knew. Not a conscious knowing of the actual impact and injuries but what my body had retained because it never forgets. It knows everything that is done to it and those memories are stored somewhere and not usually brought into the open. This time I could not avoid what I had unknowingly uncovered. I couldn’t stop the drawing. It had a life of it’s own as though it was desperate after so long to unload its burden, to reveal itself to me. I drew the red scars and the thick red band at the bottom of the image. This was my blood and grief and loss and immense pain. It was thick, dense and it didn’t stop in the image but spilled out over the page onto me and through me, I cried and cried, and still I cry each time I see this image. And as I write this and re-read it I am crying. The image and what it represents is inescapable.