consciousness raising...separation

 insanity with direction

1986 Jim, Montserrat

Jim.jpg (19961 bytes)

Another important part of recovery is group participation. An SCI session was held every Wednesday...the pizza and soda was a definite factor in its success.

There were anywhere from ten to twenty participants ranging in ages 17 - 65. Our common denominator was a complete or incomplete spinal chord complication.

Groups were and have been a sore point for me. Yes we all can learn from each other but at what a cost?

When we started concentrating on sexual problems or situations I lost interest. It seemed that certain people had to be the center of attention despite our discussions delineating their focus.

Insurance benefits ended; it was necessary to find alternate exercise and therapy treatments.

Blanche had quite a reputation as a channeler of healing. I had read about her in a book on healing and synchronistically brought to her by a mutual friend.

She'd pummel my middle with the energy of a twenty year old although frail and in her 70's. Another friend would drive me to her apartment in the middle of Manhattan.

Whether or not it helped is anyone's guess. It was time to move on. The drive was a lot to ask of anyone.

Another healer that she recommended came to the house. A big man, beefy and with a hippie persona. Mom certainly kept quiet.

He was going to do surgery without cutting. I had read about it in the Philippines. Blanche paid for it so I was game to try. After 3 sessions we stopped.

1969 Red Hook View From The Roof







Red Stockings and Susan Brownmiller come to mind. Having a one woman show in New York was a rare fete. All I thought of was NO - sales, financial independence or fame - to keep me going. There were loads of women who were disgruntled at their lot; I too felt unhappy but not because I was female.

The children went to live with my mother and father on Long Island. Stability and three meals and love. I had become numb.

Brought up to believe in doing; I believed that anything was possible if you worked hard and stuck with it. It was my fault I didn't succeed. Guilty of everything and then again of nothing.

What kind of work could I do?

Lenore had a contact at the Museum of Modern Art (it wasn't MoMA just yet.) Women picketed for chances to exhibit. We started a women's magazine 'Feelings.' I submitted poetry and art for it but didn't have a clue as to how anything got printed.

I began working in the lending library of the museum on the fifth floor. Weekends. Began school at Brooklyn College. Lucas Samaras was my main art teacher. I worked on performance pieces; I was not required to attend his class. My favorite subject was theatre design. The outrageously handsome teacher gave it that added interest. He thought my work was phenomenal. Loved Anthropology also.

R. Kearny, as head of the theatre department, asked me to design a 3 act play that takes place in India. I was honored; it was usually a showcase for Masters in Theatre Arts. There was a full crew behind me to build everything according to plans. They had to be right. I did personally paint the backdrops, beds and curtains. I also had to make a life mask of one of the actors. I remembered how I thought.

My love life was critical; looking for affection I met a young Puerto Rican with dark hair and green eyes. David. He worked with the waterfront development office. His constant companion - Mao's Red Book. I too started to become involved with some militants, until we visited the Bronx and I was scared out of my wits. Everything there depended on gangs, drugs and guns. I did read Malcolm X and was definitely enlightened.

I attended a MoMA party (dressed in a black mini dress and heels) and caught the eye of a young Nuryev type in white loose pants, shirt and clogs. He said he'd come over and help me make a life mask for the Brooklyn College play. Paul (now Paul-Feliz Montez) went to Cooper also. He had just left a year before...now he worked on fixing up lofts.

David left while we poured plaster over the actor's face. It came out well. Wish I remembered the name of the play.

That summer I petitioned BC to let me take 19 credits...they said yes. This was in addition to the play and the weekend job. All A's and another physical breakdown at the end of the semester.

The uprising at Attica had become a news item; I became involved in a fund raising performance of 'Galileo Galilee' at a church near Lincoln Center. No salary, long hours and a great deal of camaraderie. The grease paint addiction hit me hard. Finally a means to create without being alone. Searched out scenic schools to get my union affiliation. Forget about that! Few women there except painters of flats and more flats. Off Broadway did not pay and I needed a salary.

The Columbia Street building was fixed up into three rental units and I moved into Manhattan's Chrystie Street just across the street from artist/friend Pat Passlof. It was 3500 square feet of raw space. Paul started with the plumbing.

I exhibited in an all woman exhibit "Unmanly Art" with some well known female artists.


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