Playing With Space and Time
To the editor:
Marnie Crawford Samuelson’s interview with and portrait of my brother, Miah Nate Johnson, were sensitive and wonderful [“Laugh! Laugh Out Loud,” Sept. 10, page B10]. She conveyed the spirit and joie de vivre that Miah embodies in his approach to life, a life that sometimes is difficult, due to a severe stroke, but which he manages to push forward and live in incredible productivity and with purpose. And the online version of the article with the inclusion of his voice is amazing.
But there is a missing piece: his paintings. Miah’s work is quite beautiful. He has a powerful, unique style, particularly his paintings that depict his view of time and space.
The stroke changed his brain, making him interpret time and space very differently than someone who has not experienced such trauma. It is a view that is cubistic and multi-dimensional, like a Picasso painting. He did one piece, for example, where he combined several canvases into one large painting. Each canvas depicts his kitchen table from a different perspective. The painting plays with time-space reality and asks, “Is there a right way or just different ways?” Pre-stroke Miah saw and navigated the world differently; now he has a broader perspective.
He knows what time is, but you cannot have a conversation with him about time. He understands numbers, but he cannot convey that understanding. At the same time, he is functioning in society, somehow arriving places at the right time.
We live in times where we must embrace perspectives and celebrate efforts to overcome adversity. The article does this to a degree, but it leaves out the fact that Miah has difficulty, due to aphasia, communicating verbally. He therefore speaks through his art.
Please celebrate his voice by showing his paintings in a future edition of your fabulous paper.
Leading the Way to Resilience
To the editor:
It was a pleasure to read Linda Culhane’s story about the “undevelopment” project Joanna Buffington has accomplished (“A House on the Marsh Is ‘Unbuilt,’ ” Sept. 17, page A8). As president of the Orleans Conservation Trust, a nonprofit land trust, not a town department, I offer thanks to Joanna for her recognition of how our natural world works.
Also, this minor correction to the piece: the prior home’s solar panels have been moved to the office of the Orleans Conservation Trust, not the Orleans Conservation Commission. Having no electric bill for the past two months made it important to point this out.
Congratulations, Joanna, and thanks for all you do to lead the way to a more resilient future.