this was the first day of the new sculpture session after the holiday break. it was nice to be back in the studio among artists and friends. we have two new students this session…one is an accomplished sculptor and the other is brand new to clay and working in three dimensions.
i brought the heron in to finesse the details and then set on slats to dry before firing. everyone seemed to like this latest effort. jennifer said that i’m pushing the limits of what clay can do with that long snaky neck. we’ll see if it makes it through firing. i think this year i’ll be looking at water birds, herons, pelicans, cormorants and the like. i started a pelican today which i’m fairly pleased with at this point. i think i’ll be needing extra studio time this session. i have a lot of birds in my brain, so i need to release them and once a week is just not enough.
this was also the first day i left brni alone since his surgery almost two weeks ago. i was a bit nervous about it. it’s hard to take care of someone 24/7 and then leave them, even for a mere three hours. of course, he was fine when i got home and i’m sure it was probably a relief to him not to have me hovering over him.
our friend, jack came by for a visit bearing a box of baked confections…cannoli, a lovely little fruit tart and a very chocolatey thing that found it’s way on brni’s dessert dish. thank you, dear jack.
We received a letter and packing slip in the mail, informing us that I have won my freedom from the Iceman. The cords will be forever cut and the demanding cooler will be shipped back to it’s place of origin on Monday. From that day forward, Brni’s shoulder will wear bags of frozen peas and I will allow whatever ice is left to melt in the sun. An offering tinged with a smirk and a freeing shrug.
So, it’s been ten days since Brni’s shoulder surgery and he’s doing phenomenally well. He had his second PT session yesterday and his therapist was practically giddy with his progress. At the same time, Brni’s mood has lifted a great deal, almost as if a switch has been flipped. He’s looking and acting more like himself. Definitely coming out of the anesthesia/drug induced doldrums. I find it almost magical how a body can go through so much and heal so quickly.
It’s an amazing process, but one I hope very few of us need go through. But, if you do, I hope you are surrounded by love and kindness, for that is the true healing salve.
And, as Brni heals, my head turns to look at the lump of clay waiting for me on my work table. This one might be a bird, maybe a heron stretching her neck to the heavens.
I’m so tired. It’s surprising what a toll it takes on a person to care for another who is infirm or disabled or just indisposed. What is strange is that everything I’m doing, I do normally throughout the course of the day. I make coffee, get breakfast, lunch, dinner. I straighten, clean, make the bed, feed the animals, etc. The only additional tasks are emptying and filling the “iceman,” hooking Brni up to the machine, extra errands for things like bandages, thermometers, ice, ginger ale, etc. And watching over (hovering?) Brni to make sure he’s O-K-A-Y.
[That’s the real thing of it. The making sure he’s okay. Making sure he’s taking his meds, comfortable, clean, fed and watered. To all my nurse-friends out there, I bow my head to you.]
In the everyday, no-surgery world, Brni does an amazing amount of work around here. I honestly had not realized how much until the past few days doing both my stuff as well as his stuff. And I’ve begun to realize that his stuff is way more than I thought. I’m coming away from this with a new respect for the usual, every day chores that Brni does just as a matter of course. I guess it takes something like this to open our eyes to the little things that take up time and really do matter.
So, yeah, I’m tired and stressed with the added responsibility, but I’m also happy to do it. It’s a good kind of tired and the stress is worth it if it means Brni can get through his day without constant pain. Tomorrow is his first physical therapy session–the next step on the path of healing.
Wish us luck.
pictures of life post brni’s shoulder surgery. here’s the “iceman” which is essentially a small beer cooler with a fish tank pump in it. this is the thing that has enslaved me. i fill it to the brim with ice, fill again with water enough to cover the bottom of the pump, hook up the massive blue hoses to brni’s shoulder pad and then plug it in. it whines frigid water up into the shoulder pad, keeping brni’s shoulder from swelling and reeking havoc. he needs to be hooked up to this 24/7 for 2 weeks. i love fishing ice out of the cooler out on the deck at 4:30 in the morning. it’s what i live for.
this is what happens to a brni when linked to the iceman.
today we removed the dressing for the first time. it looks like the surgeon was unable to save the top of brni’s sun tattoo, but to compensate, added some lovely purple marks of his own.
wow. this is a tiny tiny incision! amazing what they can do laproscopically, isn’t it?
but, no matter how bad things get, you can’t keep a good brni down…well, maybe down, but never offline.
a visual experience…
the break happened in 1993 when a semi decided not to stop at a red light, but brni’s car was in the way. there’s a story that goes with this…here it is:
Brni’s story, The Collector featured in a new anthology, Dead Souls, will be out next month. Everyone should buy it and read his story so that we can be rich and famous like Stephen King.
ok….this is weird. brni is talking on the phone to his “editor/publisher lady.” they are going through his story line by line trying to make edits so that it will fit in the book. apparently, there is a max on numbers of pages.
it’s all a mystery to me.
brni wants tequila but we have none.
declined the cheap 100 proof vodka i use for making medicine.