Every year the social extrovert in me leaps for joy at the opportunity to chat up complete strangers at the East Side Culture Crawl. I love the chance to get to know new people, to hear the stories, to share my stories, to share my work and to hear their genuine reactions. It is one of my absolutely favorite times of year.
Bertha (my brain injury) on the other hand abhors the stimulation that comes with all of this. She hates the noise, she hate the cognitive challenge that comes with my insistence on letting my brain run at full speed while I joke with and interact with novel things in my environment.
I thought I was pacing myself yesterday, I really did....until about 3 hours into the Crawl when my hubby came to spell me off and I found myself sitting in our car with a very exhausted Bertha and this overwhelming compulsion to cry and be upset about all the limitations that now come with having a brain injury. I hate that I have to socially isolate to accommodate Bertha...I hate that I can't fully be the "real me" because I have to put the brakes on so much of me to not overtax my brain. As Bertha was dragging me into this place of tears, sadness, self pity and disconnection, I saw a chance to create this image in my mind.....and it reminded me that even though I do have many loses, there is so very very very very much for me to be grateful for. Like this image we all have darkness and light in our life...we all have someone who loves us as much as the tagger who loves"Louis"....and yes, we have challenges that may isolate us and force us to be alone in a fast moving world....but we can still tell a very beautiful story from the place we are in.
So if you come by Octopus studio (393 Powell Street) today (11 am to 6 pm) for day 3 of the East Side Culture Crawl....come say hi and make the social extrovert in me happy.....and remind me to slow down and not chat too much so Bertha too can enjoy herself.