Easels, vertebrae, drawing, etc.

haptic,charcoal,newsprint,twig charcoal
“Feather Haptic,” oak twig charcoal (from a controlled burn) on newsprint. 3/18/2013.

Got my MRI results, and looks like I have an “acute” fracture to L4/L5 vertebrae (“acute” sounds scary, but in Dr. talk apparently means “one time,” not chronic) rather than “really bad” in lay-person talk). Likely happened while moving furniture, dragging, twisting my body, to move this huge easel that someone donated to me. Good news is that it’s healing now. Much less pain, no osteoporosis — although I have a bit of arthritis, not unusual for someone my age. Will start core exercises in 2 – 3 weeks to help fend off this sort of injury.

Also thinking about the fact that doing larger works involves larger movements. I tried doing large haptics on a table, but it made my back sore from bending over the surface. It’s easier to do that kind of drawing standing straight up. Repetitive painting movements involving just one shoulder can become an issue too, creating stiff/sore shoulders. I think of Trisha Brown’s performative drawings; it would be great to have the flexibility/stamina/training to do something like that. Could be interesting to try both left and right hands/shoulders for haptic work; see what happens. Then of course, one can go smaller, as I’ve mentioned previously. Aging is, after all, a process of getting physically  smaller, and — well, finally disappearing.

Or perhaps you get bigger, even as your physical frame gets smaller? As a woman and a Filipina, I feel I’ve spent enough time (so much!) suppressing and compressing over the years. Basta! I’d like to stretch out to my limits, or fly past them.

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