My brain injury happened in April, 2018, a little over four years ago. Despite four years of constant exercise, I’m still unable to walk or move my left arm and hand. I can’t move around except in the wheelchair (I’m still practicing to walk with a walker). So, I spend most of my days lying in bed or sitting in the wheelchair on the deck and reading, writing, and translating. The only exception is when I’m doing my arm exercises or practicing to walk.
That’s why I devote a long time to thinking; since I can’t walk, I walk with my imagination. I see with my mind’s eyes a lot of different scenes in the books I read: Greek and Trojan armies facing each other in the battle field; Hector and Achilles fighting in front of Troy’s castle, Achilles full of wrath for the death of Patroclus; a tall, slender, and bespectacled man strolling down the streets of Lisbon; a woman taking a revolver out of a drawer and shooting her husband.
My inability to move around has enabled my mind to travel – has expanded my mind and caused it to develop new eyes. I can see things that are located farther away than I could reach before my injury, when I could walk and travel practically anywhere. When I was writing poetry before the injury, I always had to make an effort to conjure up images that would illustrate an idea. Now, I hear something from a friend or a feeling makes an impact on me that I want to transform into a poem, and images come to me right away.
I’ve changed in another way: What I doubted four years ago, I accept today. And I accept it because I can see it with my new eyes; my mind can travel to it. And because I accept it, my mind can open to new horizons. In this way, a cycle is set in motion that will make my world larger and richer.