Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

Truer colors

By Gerald England

I had trouble putting my finger on it—something wasn’t right. Something had changed. Certainly not the website, but me—I had changed.

I scrutinized my home page—it was too quiet. Though neurological fatigue continued to plague me, it wasn’t as debilitating as in the earlier days of my recovery. In addition, I was less prone to sensory overload, better able to tolerate more color. But it went deeper than that. Something inside me was more awake, more alive, more… what?

When we first constructed the website, I entitled it “Living with Brilliant Colors,” referring to my life post-injury being in brighter colors than in my past life. The colored print was definitely not brilliant—the blue was dusty and the red subdued. The photos were also in muted colors, mostly light blues and grays. They radiated a much needed calm in the roller coaster that was my life back then, during my first couple of years after the bleeds. But I was now less emotionally volatile, more at ease with my self. My brain injury now was not as restrictive, not as frustrating. Also, the ever present fear, of another bleed, of an additional brain injury, no longer lurked around every corner—it only emerged occasionally.

Yes, I still preferred the quiet, but I didn’t need it quite as much, as frequently, as desperately. I was now better able to open myself up to higher volumes of input, sensory and emotional. More and more color had been nudging their way into my consciousness since I began my journey. The light touches of color here and there in the original website weren’t enough. They didn’t fully portray my growth.

Brendan, a friend and graphic artist agreed. He pointed out that now, especially after the publication of my second book, “Threads Around the World: From Arabian Weaving to Batik in Zimbabwe,” my range of colors was clearly broader. It didn’t take much to convince me—the side of me that produced the textile book did now include a wide spectrum and its cover versus that of my memoir of recovery from brain injury, echoed that change.

Though I was ready to add bolder colors to my pallet, I still couldn’t manage the garish—I needed them as they appear in nature. My colors were now radiant, rather than brilliant.

I needed to change the photos and print in my current website. I needed more.