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Gaze Between Us

Air stillness inhales
eyes of the entrapped cosmos
— before breath held just

(haiku and drawing originally published in Haiku Hub)

A portrait of change from the series Heal Me Open; meditating with words from Jeremiah;

“heal me and I shall be healed,
save me and I shall be saved,
for You are my praise.”

After my 2nd major attack of NMO, leaving me a quadriplegic, I adapted into digital painting and drawing. After my first major attack in 2015, I went looking for ways of adapting. My hands were weak. My legs were weak.

Then in 2018, after my next major attack, with help and meditation, I fell in love with digital mediums as I drew myself and grew into the grief and acceptance of this new life.

It was numbingly difficult to be turned in bed every two hours, to be cleaned, to have everything done for you in ways you never imagine until you are there.

This was nothing like after my cancer surgery in 2008 when I needed help with dressing, and general assistance as I was not allowed to lift, bend, etc.

But this, I ate through a tube coming out of my belly; I peed through a tube coming from my bladder; I moved with the movement of others.

My sister in law came and spent a month and a half by my side. Setting her alarm at night in order to wake and turn me every two hours in order to prevent skin breakdown.

My family and I grew in an intimacy like no other, and I was confronted with my own modesty and my sense of privacy where there was none.

My community came together and volunteered, sitting with me; bringing their gifts as we got to know each other in new ways.

In this way, there was such beauty, and this allowed me to explore and grieve and find beauty through learning this new way of connecting with the Creative.

I work on either a Surface Pro 6 or a Surface Studio 2 computer, and my two favorite programs are Sketchable and Rebelle 4. I use both a Surface Pen with soft nibs and the Surface Slim with its hard tip.

I either use an adaptive tool to hold the pen to my hand, a mouth stick so I can hold the pen in my mouth, or I use my eyes using eye tracking technology on a Tobii 4c tracker.

She is the gaze between us before breath is held and then exhaled.

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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