These past two years have been an arduous journey of attempting to connect with parts of my brain which had been out of reach. Slowly, surely every section of the fence I kept pushing. Each push was an attempt to find the weakness of the barrier between myself and my intellect. Each time I pushed, it was to find the fence was still strong frustrating my efforts. But, I was not going to give up in this quest. I could do it. I would find the section of the internal fence of my mind which would allow me to keep pushing at it until it fell.
I wrote about the things I remembered knowing before the brain injury. I wrote about foods I liked or didn’t like. I wrote about what I wanted my day to look like from waking up to going to bed. All the in betweens became important as my days were only about the moment. A lesson about living the moment, finding joy in the moment has been worth discovering. The rediscovery of playing Chess, enjoying Chess has lead to the honor of meeting new people of all ages who I now call friends. Chess has led to baking again in order to give back something to a place where I have received so much. Cookies and chess club, what could be better than that?
Cookies, scones, and baking have become a therapy for me, one I need each week. One I enjoy and activities which make me happy. Those have lead to feeling free enough to dance in the kitchen again, to smile more in joy at each moment. Artists on Periscope have encouraged me to dig in, to not let go of the art within me. In doing this it has lead to an activity which was the key to unlocking the ME hidden behind that damned fence.
As I drew privately, using both of my hands something began to unsettle inside of me. I had been reading out loud, an activity which I missed horribly. Being read to, it’s nurturing, it’s relaxing and I’d been giving myself challenges to read books out oud which were very difficult to read. But this art, this sketching with both hands was stimulating me in a way I did not expect. The first time I drew, tears poured out of my eyes startling me as I wasn’t aware of ‘feeling’ an emotion.
Tears. I did not expect this to happen. Over the next several weeks something else was happening. My languages began to be, not out of reach anymore, they began to be closer to me. It was as if I could see them behind a wall of mist and every so often I stuck my hand through to just pull a few words out. Then as I was in a mall or at the grocery store and I would hear words being spoken I would realize that although I recognized they were not English I was understanding them.
My intellectual abilities have began to unsheath themselves and I am finding my mind is this breathtakingly beautiful place. My intellect always served me well all those years ago. Yet I sheathed that sword by choice and “dumbed down” in order to fit in to the world I had chosen to be in. But now, now I feel no constraints about what I have inside of myself, my abilities I find do have limits and this is perhaps a good thing. Perhaps it is the only thing which keeps me from becoming arrogant.
The sword I am unsheathing has a beauty of it’s own. It is not perfect. It has seen battle and it has scars, yet it also shines with a brilliance from within which encourages me to continue unsheathing of my sword called Intellect.
(Also posted to USFRA.org)