The Mediated Spine, Leslie

This is a spinal x-ray taken 5 years ago when my back was in its mid-development of scoliosis. Scoliosis if the curvature of the spine. Doctors first diagnosed me when I was eight, from which point on I was highly monitored being that it is during growth that the curvature significantly changes. Despite back braces, physical therapy and other efforts, my curvature today is about double what you see here. I’m very lucky in the fact that it isn’t very noticeable with many layers of clothing—so many people are much worse off.

The two rendered photos I created include a representation of a strait spine, and one of a spine with scoliosis (mine). One side effect from scoliosis is back pain—I’ve adopted many methods of dealing with it, ranging from medication to meditation.

During my two years in Florida, I was part of an outdoor meditation group. During an open-eye meditation exercise I drew a visual connection between trees and our body’s nervous system. This is my first attempt at a visual representation. As mentioned, the two constructed images are of a curved spine, and a strait spine, reflected by the shape of the embedded tree. The tree not only reflects the spine but represents our connected nervous system—a message further carried out by the tone and mood of the colors and light of each image. The curved spine includes warm/hot colors representative of pain and disorder. The strait spine includes cool colors that create a calm presence.

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