Sunday, December 31, 2006
player: Rashard Lewis, a top point scorer
team: Seattle SuperSonics, the struggling underdogs
injury: December 20, torn right hand
surgery: December 22
prognosis: out of play for months
Rashard Lewis wore a gauze wrap under black Velcro straps. Those are keeping him from moving his surgically repaired hand. That's not all Lewis wants immobilized. Even though he is likely to miss the next two months, the SuperSonics' second-leading scorer wants his team to keep him from moving elsewhere in free agency after this season. "I'm pretty confident I will be a Sonic for a while. I want to be a Sonic," Lewis said. Lewis talked before his team hosted New Orleans on Tuesday night, his first public words since surgery last Friday stitched tendons back together in his right hand. "Obviously, this is a setback for me," Lewis said. Then he smiled."Maybe it will make me a better player – I'll just work on my left hand and hopefully I can come back a better player."
player: Polly Sonic, a top point scorer
team: Iron Angels, the struggling underdogs
injury: November 20, broken right hand
surgery: November 22
prognosis: out of play for months
Titillation aside, there are real injuries. When her alter ego Polly Sonic broke bones in her right hand in preparation for the bout, Wingerter, a children's illustrator, had a hard time explaining it to her agent. The pins come out this week, and it will take another month or two to heal, but the roller girl just regretted sitting out the first event.
Wingerter, 34, is a former figure skater who felt she never fit in until she found the derby.
"The second I got out there, it was scary, but I've never been so in the moment skating," Wingerter said. "I was like, this was it."
The Journal News
Saturday, December 30, 2006
My hand has been shedding skin like a snake. I'm fascinated by the endless layers falling off the soft new skin underneath. Mortified at first with the idea of cadaver bone used to fill in my missing pieces, Margaret assured me my own bone will grow and eventually replace the graft with entirely new material. My therapy is building new muscle. My hand is essentially regenerating itself, and probably all the sleeping, meat eating and energy-conserving solitude has been to assist that.
Maybe there's more then bones being restored. 3 minutes after I fell my brain was refocusing everything. It's weird to find out how mutable we are, how quickly we can shift and adapt. Whatever else is shed and regrown is bound to be as quirky as these left handed drawings.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
My Great Grandma used to tell me a story from her youth, about a boy in her hometown who was posessed by the devil. He used to walk on the roofs of houses at night. Eventually, the devil was exorcised and burst out the tip of his pinkie finger.
That is so cool and I want more. I'm looking for hand stories of all kinds. Injuries, myths, theories, beliefs, quotes, facts, drawings, etc. Post in the comments, or email to me at merfire at gmail.com.
Meanwhile enjoy painted hands from all over the world like this one at the Hand Collector Gallery.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Psyche was a princess and so beautiful that the people began to worship her instead of Venus, which pissed off Venus. She sent her mischievous son, Eros, to make Psyche fall in love with something hideous as punishment. But Eros, surprised by her beauty while piercing her with his arrow, accidentally pierced himself too. He married her and took her to his palace on a mountain with the condition she never look at him. Psyche's unfriendly sisters convinced her he must be a monster and in the night as he slept she bent over him with a lamp and found he was a beautiful winged boy. But a drop of hot oil fell and woke him. Injured and furious with her betrayal he abandoned her. Psyche grieved and appealed to Venus, who gave her a series of chores to accomplish before leading her back to Eros, the first of which was to separate a mountain of lentils into piles in one night.
My latest therapy game is to pick up handfulls of dry pinto beans from one bowl and move them to another. At first I could only hold a couple which more or less just got stuck to the sweat of my skin from the effort. Now I'm able to grasp a pretty good pile. Next I'll graduate to split peas, then to rice.
A whole lot of fairy tales evolved out of Eros and Psyche and retain the lentils, like East of the Sun West of the Moon and Cinderella. Psyche finishes her impossible task with the help of an army of ants, Cinderella gets birds from her mothers tree. I'm not seeing any ants or birds lately, but the monotany of lentil picking has been majorly relieved by the full set of Lost dvds Eliza B loaned me. Thank god for you, Eliza B.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
But all the other fingers are able to move much quicker now. My best fist and straight hand two weeks into therapy. The pinky is finally able to touch the palm by itself.
Right-handedness is the most common. Right-handed people are more dextrous with their right hands when performing a task.
Left-handedness is less common than right-handedness. Left-handed people are more dextrous with their left hands when performing a task. About 17% of people are lefthanded.
Mixed-handedness, also known as cross-dominance, is being able to do different tasks better with different hands. For example, mixed-handed persons might write better with their right hand but throw a ball more efficiently with their left hand. This could also refer to pianists, because different sections of pieces are usually composed to fit the abilities of the different hands, considering that the right hand is usually for melodies and the left-hand, harmonies. However, some people often refer to handedness as the hand that a person uses to write, so this form of handedness is not usually referred to.
Ambidexterity is extremely rare. A true ambidextrous person is able to do any task equally well with either hand. The condition is very rare, although it can be learned (those who master it still tend to sway towards their originally dominant hand.
Most humans that are right-handed prefer to draw their circles and stir beverages counter-clockwise. Laterality in animals is also called limb dominance. Most race tracks are run counter-clockwise, which favors right-side dominant horses, as they take a longer stride with the right foreleg, which helps them turn to the left. Trainers of left eye dominant horses may put a blinder on the left eye to encourage the horse to turn the head slightly to the left and to take a longer step with the right foreleg just as right-side dominant horses do. Parrots tend to favor one foot when grasping objects (for example fruit when feeding). Some studies indicate that most parrots are left footed. Polar bears generally kill their prey using their left paw.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
In 1925, when she was 18, she was riding a bus in Mexico City when it was struck by a trolley car. A metal handrail pierced her abdomen, exiting through her vagina. Her spinal column was broken in three places. Her collarbone, some ribs, and her pelvis were broken, and her right leg was fractured in 11 places. Her foot was dislocated and crushed. No one thought she would live, much less walk again, but, after a month in the hospital, she went home. Encased for months in plaster body casts, Kahlo began to paint lying in bed with a special easel rigged up by her mother. With the help of a mirror, Kahlo began painting her trademark subject: herself. Of the 150 or so of her works that have survived, most are self-portraits. As she later said, "I paint myself because I am so often alone, because I am the subject I know best."
At the age of 18, Django Reinhardt was injured in a fire that ravaged the caravan he shared with Bella, his first wife. She made imitation flowers out of celluloid and paper for her living. Consequently, their home was full of the highly flammable material. Returning from a performance late one night, Django allegedly knocked over a candle on his way to bed. While his family and neighbors were quick to pull him to safety, he received first and second degree burns over half his body. His right leg was paralyzed, and his left, or fretting, hand was badly burnt.
There followed a long period of terrible suffering. For a year and a half Django was bedridden and became increasingly frantic not about the serious condition of his leg but about the hand which refused to heal, threatening to put an untimely end to his musical ambitions. Whenever his mother who never left his bedside, asked him “What are thinking about, Django?“ he would reply, “My hand.” Seeing this, his young brother brought him, some time later, a brand new guitar in an oilcloth case and with this the injured man began an astonishing programme of self-reeducation which left the staff of the St-Louis Hospital gasping. By long, painful and lonely exercise the young guitarist succeeded, against all expectation, in overcoming his terrible handicap and inventing an instrumental technique that was entirely his own.
Monday, December 18, 2006
The fingers and thumb are often referred to collectively as the "digits". There are 14 small joints in the hand that allow for movement of the digits. The metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints are the joints that allow for movement between the palm and each of the digits. The interphalangeal (IP) joints are the smaller joints between the phalangeal bones of each digit. The thumb has one IP joint and each finger has two.
Ligaments are like strong ropes that connect bones and provide stability to joints. In the hand there are numerous ligaments that stabilize the MCP and the IP joints. These ligaments are located on the top (dorsal), bottom (palmar), inner (medial) and outer (lateral) aspects of these joints. There are other ligaments in the palm that work in conjunction with a thick tissue located in the palm (the palmar aponeurosis) to provide stability to the metacarpal bones.
Tendons connect muscles to bone. Many of the muscles that move the fingers and thumb originate from the elbow. The tendons of these muscles cross the wrist and attach to the bones of the hand. The large muscles that bend (flex) the fingers originate from the medial aspect of the elbow. The large muscles that straighten (extend) the fingers originate from the lateral aspect of the elbow. In addition to these large muscles, there are smaller muscles in the hand that flex, extend, abduct (move outwards) and adduct (move inwards) the fingers.
Finally, the median and ulnar nerves are the major nerves of the hand. These nerves begin in the neck, run the length of the arm and into the hand. These nerves transmit electrical impulses to and from the brain to move and provide feeling to the hand.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
While I follow the prescribed excersizes it's clear how much the essence of my entire life, being, identity, and self worth has pivoted on my hands. In the context of me as an illustrator, puppeteer, fire dancer, doll maker, and artist, what I did, the risk I took, the mistake I made, was abominably stupid. My self is more in my right hand then in my heart or my head, and here I am, pretty much useless.
And I'm unexpectedly wishing to avoid the therapy. I try distractions to make it easier: music, tv, friends, wine, books, meditation, pets. But so far nothing works, so I shut myself up and indulge in outrageous pathos for the half hour that I warm and stretch my hand. I'm sure I'll eventually get used to it but for now my melodramatic side is winning out.
Photo: the hand today. Bruise fading, strange hard thickness of skin on palm and fingers persisting. I can make a better fist now.
Friday, December 15, 2006
It's taken some getting used to my wrist being free for the first time in 3 weeks, and to my hand being this exposed. I also don't get nearly as much sympathy as I did from strangers.
I've had three physical therapy sessions since Wednesday, and am working the hand myself every 2 hours. It hurts and kind of sucks, but it's already way better then wednesday when I couldn't move any of it.
A video from yesterday. This is me making my best fist, and my best straight hand. The middle finger is the one thats healing. The others are just sprained and atrophied from 3 weeks of a cast. My wrist has limited movement still too.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Two days later a hand specialist put it back together with a graft and two 4 inch pins. In the three weeks since I've had a series of casts, my hand reformed, stitches and pins removed, the beginning of physical therapy, and a lot of pain killers.
I'm a right handed artist, I'm a fainter with a low squeam tolerance, and I've got a doctor phobia from hell. Everything about this situation is what I would have liked most to avoid.
Yet, even though it's a bad break and rotten in so many ways, so much about it seemed to go so right. From the tough friends who stayed by my side that night, to the orthopedic nurse standing next to Karl when he got the call who immediately began arranging my care, to even the left handed scissors I'd accidentally bought the week before. So much was in place it was as if it was planned.
Painting, sculpting, spinning, skating, puppeteering, and blogging were dropped for the constant tending of my hand, and a lot of sleeping and eating. But things are starting to return a little at a time. I've gotten pretty good at one handed typing, so I'll be keeping a documentary of my recovery from hereon. I'll post pictures of my hand, but I promise nothing grosser then this xray (though I've got some real gag inducers for anyone with a sick curiosity.) The goal is to get my hand back fast and complete, as well as shed my squeamishness enough to look at the first xray of the break, which I still can't do.
So onward goes the blog. Onward goes my strange, amazing life.
But no more goddamn fortune cookies.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Even before treatment, the body automatically seeks to repair the injury. Inflammatory cells rush to destroy, dilute or isolate invaders and injured tissue. Tiny new blood vessels called capillaries begin growing into the site. Cells proliferate. The injured person usually must endure pain, swelling, and increased heat at the breakage site for one to three days.
New tissue bonds the fractured bone ends with a soft callus, a mass of connective tissue and exudate (matter escaped through blood vessel walls). Remodeling begins. Within a few months, a hard callus replaces the soft one. Remodeling restores the inner canal.
Once restoration is complete, which may take years, the healed area is brand new, without a scar. Usually thicker, the new bone may even be stronger than the old.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
What is the relationship between play and revolution? Creating fissures in reality opens up the possibility for change: change in the everyday/monotonous routine, change in assumptions about 'facts', change in the world in general. The act of "making strange" allows a new perspective for reassessment and critique. Nothing is fixed and anyone can make the environment around them better.
Wow. I love her. Thank you Alvina for finding her!
Friday, November 24, 2006
|Author, illustrator plan meet and greet|
|Julia Cooper , Register Correspondent|
The two women, however, did not meet during the time they both spent working on the book. It took two more years for them to finally get to know each other through Artifax, a small shop in the downtown area offering art from around the world.
"I was exploring Artifax because it looked interesting," said Sherman, who was once an assistant curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. "I was wandering around and saw my book and said, ‘That’s me.’"
Sherman’s book grew out of her love for horses. She said her mother gave her a horse toy when she was three and "that was it." It was Sherman’s mother who also helped foster her writing.
"I’ve been writing since I can remember," said Sherman. "My mother was a screenwriter and short story writer. I was always encouraged to write."
Sherman chose folk tales because she said they are "a universal literature."
It was Wingerter’s own love of horses and past experiences that led her to illustrate Sherman’s book.
"The publisher told me that this was a book about horses," said Wingerter. "I grew up on a horse farm in Maine and Vermont. I love horses."
Wingerter also said that illustrating fairy tales and folklore is her "absolute favorite," and such work is hard to come by in the illustration field.
It was only after Sherman found her own book in Artifax that shop owner Ann Solomon decided the two women should get together and introduce their work to the community. In addition to a copy of "Magic Hoofbeats" on display at the store, Solomon also had additional illustrations by Wingerter, which often involve horses.
The store will hold a meet and greet with author and illustrator at 3 p.m. Nov. 25.
Solomon hopes members of the community will stop by to meet the women and have the opportunity to discuss what it means to be an author or an illustrator.
"Their work falls in line with what I try to do here in the shop, which is promote multiculturalism," Solomon said. "And I just couldn’t resist the synchronicity of the situation. It was just such a coincidence."
"At this event people are going to be allowed to ask questions," said Sherman. "We want that because all people are a closet writer or artist."
Wingerter said, "I’ll have my paintings and the book on display so I can show the process that goes on between the two."
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
oil on masonite
"Remedios Varo believed in magic. Deeply superstitious and strongly attuned to nature, she held a mystical belief in forces beyond the self that influence and direct events. She approached both her life and her art committed to this vision. Strolling along a Mexican street one evening, she noticed plants with beautiful white egglike fruits. Fascinated, she took one to her apartment, set it among her plants on the terrace in full moonlight, and carefully nestled tubes of paint around it. She felt that this conjunction of the special plant, her paints, and the moon might prove auspicious for the next day of painting."
Thursday, November 09, 2006
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can't bear without a friend,
I can't love without a sister.
The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape, like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.
What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights with us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.
When we win it's with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestlers' sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.
Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.
Rainer Maria Rilke
the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your womb
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
I have begun,
when I'm weary and can't decide an answer to a bewildering question
to ask my dead friends for their opinion
and the answer is often immediate and clear.
Should I take the job? Move to the city? Should I try to conceive a child
in my middle age?
They stand in unison shaking their heads and smiling-- whatever leads
to joy, they always answer,
to more life and less worry. I look into the vase where Billy's ashes were--
it's green in there, a green vase,
and I ask Billy if I should return to the difficult phone call and he says, yes.
Billy's already gone through the frightening door,
whatever he says I'll do.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Jalalludin Rumi was a sufi teacher in Turkey in the 1200s, and the originator of the Mevlevi sufis, the whirling dervishes. He had a pretty normal life until he was 34, when he met the mysterious and rebellious wanderer, Shams Tabrizi, who questioned Rumi's faith and threw all his theological books into a fountain. Rumi was so struck with love for Shams that he passed out from a kind of ecstatic epiphany on the spot. Shams immediately became his beloved friend and teacher, the two were scandalously inseparable for years until Shams was killed by Rumi's jealous students. The loss sent Rumi into the deepest despair and he walked around a pole in his garden for a month, and this is the story of how the whirling, the turning, or the sema, came to be.
After he'd worn a circle a few feet into the ground he started writing poetry inspired by the absence of his friend. He wrote so much it filled a couple dozen books. He is the best selling poet in the United States.
It's easy to relate to Rumi's circular method of grieving and admire his way of turning sadness into a joyful dance. And in his poems he comes across as someone you'd very much like to know. He's relentlessly enthusiastic and optimistic, even in the worst kind of longing and heartache. To him the universe is ever playful, and he never loses his sly sense of humor. It seems like he loved life so much he couldn't contain himself. His poems are bursting with fire and wine and love without shame or apology.
pulls you away from.
Decisions made at
night seem strange the next day. Where
are you when you sleep? A trickster
curls on the headboard. Restless in
the valley, you go to the ocean. Then
turning toward the light, you fall in
the fire. Who jiggles this battered
saucepan? The sky puts a yoke on you
to help with turning around a pole.
Teachers get dizzy like students. The
lion that killed you now wonders whether
to drag you off or tear you to pieces
here. There's a shredding that's really
a healing, that makes you more alive!
A lion holds you in his arms. Fingers
rake the fretbridge for music. A
compass revolves around the metal foot
point. Some grow fond of battle armor;
some, satin clothing. Others, like me,
love the word bunches called poetry.
My friend Eliza B has been noticing the messages too.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Photos from the weekend: visitors must walk through Barbara's shadow forest to find me, Matt's intense 5 year scrapbook room, Rebecca's laundry lines, my collages, a man being mosaic-ed.
Wearing rollerskates the whole weekend promoted the roller derby while enabling me to see exhibits down neverending school hallways. I sold a lot of paintings, I met a lot of new people. Friends from every one of my many circles came out: puppeteers, dollmakers, rollergirls, firespinners, artists, electricians, theater people, church people, RISD people, publishing people, people who know me only from the blog, people who know me only from myspace. It turned out many of them knew each other, or enjoyed meeting each other. Circles overlapped and merged. Any remaining boundaries between Polly's and Linda's life were eradicated. Thank you, everyone!
Photos of the progression of the space over 24 hours. I had incredible help from my mum, my friends Scott, Paula, Kathleen and Rebecca, and my roomates. A lot of boxes were hauled, a lot of coffee was consumed, and a lot of fun was had by all.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
So Karl brought in our friend Rebecca to help get the basics finished. She did, and then offered to fix the long neglected problem of the hole in my studio.
I've been freezing for 6 years from the wind that comes up through the soffets of this unfinished closet space, despite the many layers of stapled blankets and foam insulation I tried to put there.
In a day Rebecca framed it in, insulated it and hung the door.
I fought and complained about the disruption of my quiet little mess, not realizing how much I apparently needed it. My studio and I have been in shambles. The new door inspired a rearranging of furniture, a new filing system, and the joyful anticipation of adding a chalkboard. I'm still in flux, but I am warm with a renewed optimism about working here.
Rebecca has also been great spirited company in the studio, and I get the added bonus of Roxy, the 9 week old puppy who comes with her.