Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color


Stubbornness to me isn’t merely about going head-to-head with your teenager, letting the dirty dishes pile up for days in an attempt to shame him into emptying the dishwasher, seeing who will hold out longer.
These days, post-bloody brain, stubbornness holds a much more significant meaning— stubbornness is about fiercely persevering despite numerous obstacles strewn in my path. Stubbornness has brought me to a high level of recovery. Stubbornness has made a survivor out of me.
Stubbornness is about playing the Simon to improve my damaged sequential thinking, over and over again, day in day out, despite an unending losing streak.
At one point, when the repeated failures frustrated me more than usual and I had taken a few days’ break, I made a rule that whenever I went to the bathroom, I had to play the game at least three times. I improved slowly but surely. I obstinately persevered even when I hit plateaus that lasted a few days. I continued improving until I finally won my first game. Even then, instead of resting on my laurels I continued playing, changing the rules—I had to play until I won a game, only then could I quit.
Stubbornness is about weaving the yardage I planned to submit to Convergence, an international weaving conference that takes place every other year.
I kept making mistakes, I kept forgetting how to proceed to the next step. Occasionally, that loom reduced me tears, but after thoroughly soaking my pillow, I always got up, marched myself right back, and solved the problem. Sometimes the solution came to me haltingly as I searched my faulty memory and consulted books, other times the solution came in a flash, the tears having jogged the relevant information loose, making it accessible.
Stubbornness is about traveling to Israel in 2012 for the dragon boat races and to visit my family.
When I attended our family reunion in England in the summer of 2010, I was in terrible shape. Fatigue engulfed me throughout the trip and I suffered several sensory overload related meltdowns. I stumbled through the next month or so recovering from that trip.
I’ve wanted to visit my family in Israel since the onset of the bloody brain but have been afraid, afraid of the toll it would take on me, mind and body. And after the reunion, my fears rooted themselves even deeper.
The first Israeli dragon boat race is taking place on the Sea of Galilee in May of 2012. Given the opportunity of combining dragon boat racing and visiting my family, I have no choice, I have to go. Even if it kills me, and it will kill me. I will go.
Stubbornness to me is about living my life despite the bloody brain. It’s about creating a life with the bloody brain. It’s about living.