When I created this image (a combination of a figurative photograph, some crackled paint texture and 2 abstract ink and watercolor paintings) it seemed a little disturbing and I hesitated to post it. My first impression was of the figure as bound and constrained in some fundamental way. My wife saw it an immediately said “stroke” – the limp arm, the tendrils radiating in the head, the crackled skin… I realized that this image had emerged from my subconscious with the intention.

I’ve started reading the book “My Stroke of Insight” by Jill Bolte Taylor, the story of a brain scientist who had a massive stroke which left her left brain cognitive functions inoperative. Given her background she knew what was happening and could observe it with insight the rest of us would not possess. While I haven’t finished the book, my understanding is that she experienced a state of bliss unknown to her before as a result of having only her right brain functions to rely on. The right brain gives us our sense of being one with the universe, among other things. This experience led her to something of a spiritual awakening that is the thrust of her book. I also spent some time yesterday with my sister, who suffered a stroke several years ago and continues to deal with the residual effects of that in her life.

So somehow this image surfaced today, another sign that our thoughts, our art and our lives are deeply intertwined in a way that surprises us, even after all these years…

One response to “Stroke…

  1. Susan,
    I read Dr. Taylor’s book, My Stroke of insight. Keep going until you finish it – it’s a wonderful book and the section you had heard about – finding deep inner peace I think it was called – is worth re-reading! I was very powerfully impacted by this book and in fact I’m recommending it to everyone I know. I trust you saw her TED dot com video too? if not, it’s a must see! it’s astounding – I can see why it’s been virally spread around the world millions and millions of time (according to YouTube). The book is even better and I did notice it’s already on the NY Times and other bestseller lists. I think Dr. Taylor’s experience and what she was able to write about it (beautifully I might add) has the potential to shift humanity’s consciousness in a major way. It’s also very simply a wonderful story – one you could see someone making a major Hollywood movie about. I hope you enjoy it.

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