Thursday, 24 of April of 2014

Touch/Don’t

Ok, yesterday I tweeted “Almost done with the new pen&ink. Hoping that I’m not jinxing it by expecting it to be done & online tomorrow….” I succeeded, because – ta-da!

A woman lies curled, spikes in her back shooting lightning and a look of quiet pain on her face.


“Touch/Don’t” by Heather Keith Freeman
9″x12″, pen and ink on watercolor paper

The making of this one went very quickly, probably because it is intensely personal.

I have a spine injury. One of its manifestations is that direct pressure to the spine, even relatively light, causes me intense pain. One of the things I have had to learn to avoid is causal hugs from friends, because they inevitably forget., and one friendly back-slap later I’m on the ground.

I’m naturally a physically affectionate person. Making this transition has… not been easy.

While this piece is inspired by the personal, my hope is that it generalizes well to the experience of chronic pain, and also the experience of being a woman, and perhaps even the experience of being human: specifically portraying the conflict between the need for physical connection and the need for physical safety.

What does it say to you?


This post was included in the 60th Disability Blog Carnival at Feminists with Disabilities.

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