TBI Part II: How Shamanism Helped My Brain Heal

black pegasusAfter my horse Dare clocked my noggin, as I mentioned in Part I of this blog (which you can read here if you like), I suffered post-concussive syndrome. Post-concussive syndrome is a collective term for the after-effects of mild traumatic brain injury. As a shamanic practitioner and a scientist, I was intrigued by the recovery process that I was experiencing. I took note of the things that were different about me and the slow progress toward recovering my normal brain function again.

One of the effects I was left with was blurry vision. I had halos around every letter, and it didn’t matter if it was a road sign or a textbook. I saw an optometrist and she said my eyes were fine, but that my brain was telling my eyes to do two different things. [Read more…]

How Traumatic Brain Injury Changed My Life

Brain lobesOn June 2, 2012, I sustained a concussion. Some of you who follow my blog already know this. I must admit that at the time, like most people, I had no idea how serious a concussion can be. Over the next few months, I learned first-hand that a concussion is a brain injury that “may take 3 to 6 months to heal.” (Picture me doing the air quotes, and you’ll see why below.) Another name for a concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury.

It’s referred to as “mild” only because your head isn’t split wide open and you aren’t laying unconscious in the ICU. [Read more…]

One Year Later

Alf 031394

Alf in the old barn, 1994

So…today it has been one whole year since Alf departed this world. I have been torn in my heart all day. Part of me wanted to blog, to commemorate this milestone and honor his memory. And part of me wanted to have nothing to do with thinking about it, because it is still very painful to remember that he is no longer here with us. To remember how much I love him, and how much I miss him. I don’t know if anyone can even begin to imagine how much I miss him. Even now, as I write these words, the tears fall. This, THIS is what I was trying to avoid today, this feeling. But with grief, there is no way around it. One must, as always, journey right through the heart of it to get to the other side, to get to the healing.

[Read more…]

Today’s Poetry Selection: “Blodeuwedd”

Great-Horned-Owl-Landing-8[1]The owls hooting outside my window on these long, dark winter nights reminded me of this poem, which is based on a tale from the Welsh Mabinogi. You can find this selection and many of my other poems in the collection “Purple Roses & Other Poems,” available through Amazon.com.  This Wikipedia entry summarizes the story: Blodeuwedd. I include it here so that those with no knowledge of the tale may better understand the poem.


The wind sighs through the browning, brittle leaves
dark and withered under threatening sky
The owl calls ‘who?'; her question pierces
the heart and soul of this lonely place. [Read more…]